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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 (

TaxonCatharanthus roseus
Family common name(s)dogbane; dog-bane; dog bane; dogbanes; oleander
Genus common name(s)catharanthus
Species common name(s)Madagascar periwinkle; Madagascan periwinkle; rose periwinkle; rosy periwinkle; red periwinkle; pink periwinkle; Cape periwinkle; tropical periwinkle; West Indian periwinkle; rose vinca; vinca rosa; red vinca; old-maid; old maid
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaperiwinkle is applied to taxa in multiple families; billygoat weed, billygoat-weed are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesWest Indian is a proper name, so upper case preferable; when Cape is used as a proper name, upper case preferable
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