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Common (vernacular) names applied to California vascular plants

compiled by Elizabeth Painter

up to date as of May 1, 2016

Common names (also referred to as vernacular names) are applied differently at different times and places by different users. This list is compiled from many sources and is intended to be as comprehensive as possible. It is not intended to indicate which common name is correct or preferred. Please send comments about this page to Elizabeth Painter (

TaxonAnthoxanthum occidentale
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)vernal-grass; vernal grass; vernalgrass; vanilla-grass; vanilla grass; vanillagrass; holy grass; holy-grass; holygrass
Species common name(s)California sweet-grass; California sweet grass; California sweetgrass; California vanilla-grass; California vanilla grass; California vanillagrass; western sweetgrass; western sweet grass; western vanilla-grass; western vanilla grass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxasweetgrass, sweet-grass, sweet grass are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesCalifornia is a proper name, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcHierochloe occidentalis Buckley
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