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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 (

TaxonPhoradendron californicum
Family common name(s)mistletoe; mistle-toe; mistle toe; Christmas mistletoe
Genus common name(s)New World mistletoe; American-mistletoe; American mistletoe; American mistle-toe; American mistle toe
Species common name(s)desert mistletoe; desert mistle-toe; desert mistle toe; California mistletoe; California mesquite mistletoe; mesquite mistletoe; acacia mistletoe
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxafalse mistletoe, true mistletoe, leafy mistletoe, holiday mistletoe, Christmas mistletoe, Christmas-mistletoe are applied to multiple Viscaceae taxa
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcSantalaceae; Loranthaceae
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