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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 (

TaxonMonotropa uniflora
Family common name(s)heath; heather; heathwort; heathworts
Genus common name(s)monotropa
Species common name(s)ghost-pipe; ghost pipe; ghostpipe; tobacco-pipe; tobacco pipe; American ice-plant; American ice plant; fairy smoke; fairy-smoke; one-flowered monotropa; one-flower monotropa; one-flowered pipe-plant; one-flowered waxplant; convulsion-root; convulsion root; convulsion-weed; convulsion weed; fit-root plant; fit root plant; fit-root fit root; fitroot; fits-root; fits root; fitsroot; ova-ova; ova ova
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxafir-rape, fir rape are applied to multiple Monotropa taxa; pinesap, pine-sap, pine sap are applied to multiple Ericaceae taxa; Dutchman's pipe. Dutchman's-pipe are more commonly applied to Aristolochia; broomrape is more commonly applied to Orobanche; ghost-flower, ghost flower, ghostflower, ghost plant, corpse-plant, corpse plant, pipe-plant, pipe plant, bird's nest plant, birds' nest plant, bird's-nest, bird's nest, birds' nest, birdsnest, waxplant are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian pipe, Indian-pipe, Indianpipe, one-flowered Indian pipe; one-flowered Indian-pipe, one-flower Indian-pipe
NotesAmerican is a proper name, so upper case preferable
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