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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 (

TaxonArundo donax
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)arundo; arundo grass
Species common name(s)giant river reed; giant arundo; giant arundo grass; arundo grass; giant donax cane; giant donax; donax cane; giant-reed; invasive giant reed; weedy giant reed; giant carrizo; giant cane carrizo; giant carrizo reed; large carrizo cane; carrizo grande; giant Spanish reed; Spanish reed; Spanish-reed; giant Spanish cane; Spanish cane; Italian reed; Provence cane; Danube reed; Danubian reed; variegated donax; oboe reed
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxagiant reed, giant reed grass, giant reed-grass, common giant reed, common reed, giant bamboo-reed, giant bamboo reed, bamboo-reed, bamboo reed, elephant grass, giant cane, river cane, cow cane, wild cane, wildcane, carrizo, carrizo grass, carrizo reed, carrizo cane, carriso cane, carriso, cariso cane are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; false bamboo, false-bamboo, reedgrass, reed-grass, reed grass are applied are to taxa in multiple families
NotesSpanish is a proper name, so upper case preferable
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