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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 (

TaxonPhalaris caroliniana
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)phalaris; canary-grass; canary grass; canarygrass
Species common name(s)Carolina canary-grass; Carolina canary grass; Carolina canarygrass; southern canary-grass; southern canary grass; southern canarygrass; southern reed canary grass; Stewart's canary-grass; Stewart's canary grass; Gilbert's relief-grass; Gilbert's relief grass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaribbon-grass, ribbon grass, ribbongrass, California Timothy, California timothy, California timothy grass, wild canary grass, wild canarygrass, Apache Timothy, Apache timothy are applied to multiple Phalaris taxa; timothy, May grass, May-grass, Maygrass, may grass, may-grass, maygrass applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; southern reed grass, southern reed-grass, southern reed, reedgrass, reed-grass, reed grass are applied are to taxa in multiple families
NotesCarolina is a proper name, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcPhalaris americana Elliott; Phalaris intermedia Poir.; Phalaris microstachya DC.; Phalaris occidentalis Nutt.; Phalaris trivialis Trin.
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