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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 (

TaxonDiospyros virginiana
Family common name(s)ebony
Genus common name(s)diospyros; persimmon; persimon; persimone; parsimmon; persimena; parsemena; phishimon; pitchumon; pishamin; pissmien; pissmienplum; possimon; putchimon; putchamin; date-plum; date plum
Species common name(s)common persimmon; common persimon; eastern persimmon; American persimmon; American persimon; American date-plum; American date plum; North American ebony; North American white ebony; native American persimmon; Native American persimmon; Virginia persimmon; Virginia persimon; Virginian persimmon; Virginian persimmon tree; Virginia plumme; possum persimmon; possum persimmon-tree; possumwood persimmon; bara-bara; bara bara
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawhite ebony is applied to multiple Diospyros taxa; possum wood, possum-wood, possumwood, plum, sugar plum, butterwood, butter wood are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian persimmon
NotesVirginia, Virginian, American, North American are proper names, so upper case preferable
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