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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 (

TaxonKalmia polifolia
Family common name(s)heath; heather; heathwort; heathworts
Genus common name(s)kalmia; gold-withy; gold withy
Species common name(s)pale laurel; pale-laurel; pale bog laurel; bog kalmia; bog laural; bog-laurel; swamp kalmia; swamp laurel; swamp-laurel; box laurel
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketssmall-leaved kalmia [subsp. microphylla]; small-leaved laurel [subsp. microphylla]; small-leaved bog laurel [subsp. microphylla]; small-leaf laurel [subsp. microphylla]; small bog laurel [subsp. microphylla]; little-leaf mountain laurel [subsp. microphylla]; little leaf mountain laurel [subsp. microphylla]; littleleaf mountain laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine bog laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine bog-laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine mountain laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine mountain-laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine laurel [subsp. microphylla]; alpine kalmia [subsp. microphylla]; western bog laurel [subsp. microphylla]; western bog-laurel [subsp. microphylla]; western swamp kalmia [subsp. microphylla]; western swamp laurel [subsp. microphylla]; western mountain laurel [subsp. microphylla]; western mountain-laurel [subsp. microphylla]; western small-leaved bog laurel [subsp. microphylla]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawestern laurel, western-laurel are applied to multiple Ericaceae taxa; mountain laurel, mountain-laurel, withy, withe, laurel are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcsubsp. microphylla (Hook.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor; subsp. polifolia; Kalmia microphylla (Hook.) A. Heller
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