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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 (

TaxonPaspalum distichum
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)paspalum; paspalum grass; crown-grass; crown grass; crowngrass
Species common name(s)knot paspalum; knot-root paspalum; knotroot paspalum; jointed knotgrass; jointed crown grass; jointed crowngrass; joint paspalum; joint paspalum grass; joint crown grass; joint crowngrass; finger-shaped paspalum; Elliott's paspalum; couch paspalum; Thompson grass; Thompsongrass; Fort Thompson grass; Ft Thompson grass; Ft Thompsongrass; water finger-grass; water finger grass; summer seep-grass; Mercer grass; mercer grass; eternity grass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaseashore paspalum is more commonly applied to Paspalum vaginatum; seaside millet, salt-water paspalum, water couch, water couch-grass, water couch grass, salt jointgrass, salt joint-grass, salt joint grass, salt-water paspalum are applied to multiple Paspalum taxa; dallisgrass is more commonly applied to Paspalum dilatatum; salt-water couch-grass, salt-water couch grass, salt water couch grass, ginger grass, turfgrass, grama de mar are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; knot grass, knotgrass, knot-grass, common knotgrass, knowgrass, knowgrass, know grass, devil's-grass, devil's grass, devil-grass, devil grass, devilgrass, devil's weed, devil's-weed, joint-grass, joint grass, jointgrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesThompson, Elliott are proper names, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. indutum Shinners; Paspalum paspalodes (Michx.) Scribn.
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