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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 (

TaxonDistichlis spicata
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)distichlis; distichlis grass
Species common name(s)spiked salt-grass; spiked salt grass; spiked saltgrass; marsh salt-grass; marsh salt grass; marsh saltgrass; inland salt-grass; inland salt grass; inland saltgrass; interior salt-grass; interior salt grass; interior saltgrass; desert salt-grass; desert salt grass; desert saltgrass; seashore salt-grass; seashore salt grass; sea-shore salt-grass; seashore saltgrass; coastal saltg-rass; coastal salt grass; coastal saltgrass; marsh spike-grass; marsh spike grass; marsh spike-grass; marsh-spike-grass; marsh spikegrass; coast marsh spike-grass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxasaltgrass, salt grass, salt-grass, alkali grass, alkali-grass, alkaligrass, alkaline grass, slender spike-grass, slender spike grass, spiked quaking grass are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; spike-grass, spike grass, spikegrass, wire grass, wire-grass, wiregrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. divaricata Beetle; var. nana Beetle; var. stolonifera Beetle; var. stricta (Torr.) Scribn.
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