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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 (

TaxonEuphorbia peplus
Family common name(s)euphorb; spurge; spurges
Genus common name(s)euphorbia; spurge; wolf's-milk; wolf's milk; wolfs-milk; wolfs milk; wolfsmilk; wolf-milk; wolf milk; wolfmilk
Species common name(s)petty euphorbia; petty spurge; pretty spurge; radium plant; radium-weed; radiumweed; radium weed; stinging milkweed
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxapurple spurge, tithymal, thymalos are applied to multiple Euphorbia taxa; milkweed, milk-weed, milk weed, cancerweed, cancer weed, cancer-weed, devil's-milk, devil's-milk, wart-weed, wart weed, wartweed are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcTithymalus peplus (L.) Hill
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