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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 (

TaxonSolanum dimidiatum
Family common name(s)nightshade; night-shade; night shade; nightshades; potato
Genus common name(s)solanum; nightshade; night-shade; night shade
Species common name(s)Torrey's solanum; Torrey's nightshade; Torrey's night-shade; Torrey nightshade; Torrey night-shade; Torrey's horse-nettle; Torrey horsenettle; robust horsenettle; robust horse nettle; western horsenettle; western horse-nettle; western horse nettle
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxapurple nightshade, purple-flowered nightshade, purple flowered nightshade, purple-flower nightshade are applied to multiple Solanum taxa; buffalo-bur, buffalobur, buffalo bur, buffalo-burr, buffaloburr, buffalo burr, horse-nettle, horse nettle, horsenettle, bittersweet, bitter-sweet, potato weed, potato-weed, potatoweed are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesTorrey is a proper name, so upper case preferable; Torreys is an error
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