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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 (

TaxonGalium aparine
Family common name(s)madder; coffee
Genus common name(s)galium; gallio; gallion; gaillet; bedstraw; bed-straw; bed straw; cleavers; cleaver; cleaverwort; cleaver-wort; cleaver wort; cleavewort; clivers
Species common name(s)annual bedstraw; annual bed-straw; annual cleavers; cleavers goosegrass; cleavers goose-grass; cleavers goose grass; spring-cleavers; spring cleavers; clayver-grass; clitheren; clithers; catchweed bedstraw; goosegrass bedstraw; goose-bill; goosebill; goose's hair; goose's hare; goose hare; gooses hare; gosling-grass; gosling grass; gosling-weed; gosling weed; goslingweed; sticky-willy; sticky willy; stickywilly; sticky-willie; sticky willie; stickywillie; stick-willy; stickwilly; stick-a-back clivers; stick-a-back; stick a back; stickaback; stickle-back; stickleback; cling-rascal; cling rascal; catch-rogue; grip-grass; grip grass; gripgrass; coachweed; Robin-run-in-the-grass; robin-run-in-the-grass; Robin run over the hedge; robin run over the hedge; Robin-run-ahead; robin-run-ahead; scratweed; scratch-weed; scratch weed; snatch-weed; scarthgrass; beggergrass; barweed; hedge clivers; white hedge bedstraw; white hedge; wild hedge-burs; wild-hedge-burs; wild hedge burs; hedge-burs; hedge burs; hedgeburs; hedge-burrs; hedge burrs; hedgeburrs; hedgeheriffe; hedgerif; hayruff; hayriffe; harif; erriffe; grateron; pertimugget; gia mara; bleedy-tongues; bleedy tongues; bleedy-toungues; tongue-bleed; whip-tongue; whip tongue; everlasting friendship; loveman; love-man; mutton chops
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsspurred bedstraw [Galium spurium]; Marin County bedstraw [Galium spurium]; Vaillant's goose-grass [Galium vaillantii]; Vaillant's goose grass [Galium vaillantii]; vaillantii goosegrass [Galium vaillantii]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon bedstraw, common bed-straw, common bed straw, common cleavers, cleavers bedstraw, white bedstraw, ladies' bedstraw, ladies bedstraw, Our Lady's bedstraw, Our-Lady's bedstraw, wild madder, clabber-grass, clabber grass, clabbergrass, maid's-hair, maids' hair, maid's hair, gravel-grass, gravel grass, cheese rennet herb, cheese rennet, cheese-rennet, cheese renning, cheese-rennings, rennet weed, curd-wort, curd wort, curdwort, milk-sweet, milk sweet, poor-robin, poor robin are applied to multiple Galium taxa; hedge bedstraw, hedge-bedstraw, lady's-bedstraw, lady's bedstraw are applied to multiple Rubiaceae taxa; beggar's-lice, beggar's lice, beggars lice, beggars-lice, beggar-lice, beggar lice, beggarlice, harvest-lice, harvest lice, harvestlice, catchweed, catch weed, catch-weed, goose grass, goose-grass, goosegrass, common goosegrass, turkey-grass, turkey grass, velcro plant, burrhead, burr-head, burr head, burhead, bur-head, bur head, burrweed, burr-weed, burweed, bur-weed, scratchgrass, scratch-grass, scratch grass, claver-grass, claver grass, cleaver-grass, cleaver grass, cleavergrass, tangleweed, bird-lime, sweethearts, sticky-weed, sticky weed, sticky-weed, stickyweed, bobby buttons, clitch-button, clitch button, hayriff are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcGalium spurium L.; Galium vaillantii DC.
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