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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 (

TaxonAstragalus gambelianus
Family common name(s)legume; legumes; leguminosae; pea; bean; clover; pulse; pulses
Genus common name(s)astragalus; milkvetch; milk-vetch; milk vetch; sheep-pod; sheep pod; sheeppod; bastard-vetch; bastard vetch; painted-pod; painted pod; paintedpod; poison-vetch; poison vetch; poisonvetch; pop-pea; rattle-vetch; rattle vetch; rattlebox-weed; rattle-box weed
Species common name(s)Gambel's milkvetch; Gambel's milk-vetch; Gambel's milk vetch; Gambel's locoweed; Gambel's loco-weed; Gambel's loco; Gambel's dwarf milkvetch; Gambel's dwarf milk-vetch; Gambel's dwarf milk vetch; Gambel's dwarf locoweed; Gambel milkvetch; Gambel milk-vetch; Gambel milk vetch; Gambel locoweed; Gambel loco-weed; Gambel loco; Gambel dwarf milkvetch; Gambel dwarf milk-vetch; Gambel dwarf milk vetch; Gambel dwarf locoweed; Little Bill loco; little bill loco; little blue loco
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsElmer's dwarf milk-vetch [var. elmeri]; Elmer dwarf milk-vetch [var. elmeri]; large-flowered Gambel's locoweed [var. elmeri]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxadwarf locoweed, dwarf loco-weed, dwarf loco weed, dwarf loco, annual astragalus annual locoweed are applied to multiple Astragalus taxa; locoweed, loco-weed, loco weed, locovetch, loco-vetch, loco vetch, loco, buffalo bean, buffalo beans, buffalo-pea, buffalo pea, buffalo peas are applied to multiple Fabaceae taxa; rattle-weed, rattle weed, rattleweed, rattlebox, rattle-box, rattle box, poison-weed, poison weed, poisonweed are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian pea
NotesGambel, Elmer are proper names, so upper case preferable; Gambels, Gambell, Gambells, Elmers are errors
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. elmeri (Greene) J.T. Howell
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