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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 (

TaxonVerbascum thapsus
Family common name(s)scroph; figwort; figworts; fig-wort; fig wort
Genus common name(s)verbascum; mullein; mullen; molene
Species common name(s)common woolly mullein; common woolly mullen; common wooly mullein; common wooly mullen; greater mullen; great white mullein; great white mullen; common white mullein; candlewick mullein; candle-wick mullein; candlewick mullen; mullein dock; mullen dock; fleshy mullen; flannel mullein; flannel mullen; flannel-leaved mullein; flannel leaf mullein; flannel-plant; flannel plant; Aaron's-flannel; Aaron's flannel; old-man's-flannel; old-man's flannel; old man's-flannel; old man's flannel; old man flannel; beggar's flannel; beggar's blanket; blanket mullein; blanket herb; woollen blanket herb; woolen blanket herb; ag leaf; Adam's rod; Peter's staff; Peter's-staff; Jupiter's staff; Jupiter's-staff; beggar's stalk; shepherd's-club; shepherd's club; shepherds' club; shepherd's herb; witch's candle; witches' candle; torch mullein; torches; torchwort; torch-wort; torch wort; torch-blade; torch blade; big taper; king's-taper; king's taper; hag's-taper; hag's taper; hag-taper; hag taper; hog-taper; hog taper; hig-taper; hig taper; hedge-taper; hedge taper; hedge-tapers; bullock's-lungwort; bullock's lungwort; bullock lungwort; cow's-lungwort; cow's lungwort; crow's-lungwort; crow's lungwort; clown's-lungwort; clown's lungwort; cuddy's lungs; hare's-beard; hare's beard; hares beard; stallion-plant; velvetback; wild ice leaf; ice-leaf; ice leaf; lady's-foxglove; lady's foxglove; Our Lady's pigtail; Mary's pigtail; God's little pigtail; Our Lord's lash; Our Lady's staff; dear Lady's staff; the Virgin's staff; Mother-of-God's staff; Our Lady's medicine; Our Lady's flannel; Mary's light; Mother of God's candle; light of the Lord; heavenly radiance
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon mullein, common mullen, woolly mullein, woolly mullen, wooly mullein, wooly mullen, great mullein, great mullen, white mullein, candlewick plant, high-taper, high taper are applied to multiple Verbascum taxa; velvet-plant, velvet plant, velvet dock, velvet-dock, velvet-leaf, velvet leaf, velvetleaf, flannel-flower, flannel flower, flannel-leaf, flannel leaf, Adam's flannel, felt-wort, felt wort, feltwort, blanket-leaf, blanket leaf, candlewick, candle-wick, candle wick, miner's candle, miner's-candle, miners candle, minerscandle, tinder plant, gordoloba, gordolobo, graveyard dust, fluffweed, fluff-weed, fluff weed, woundweed, wound weed, lungwort, lung-wort, lung wort, clown's-lungwort, clown's lungwort, rosy desert beardtongue, rosy desert-beardtongue, Jacob's staff, Jacob's-staff, Aaron's rod, Aaron's-rod, shepherd's staff, lamb's-tongue, lamb's tongue, white man's foot steps, white man's footsteps, white-man's foot, white man's foot, white-man's-foot, whiteman's foot, lady's artfulness, Mary's flower, lady's candles, Our Lady's candles, Our Lady's candle, candleplant, devil's-tobacco, wild tobacco, fairy-tale plant, fairy tale plant, pioneer toilet-paper, pioneer toilet paper, pioneer toilet-paper plant, pioneer toilet paper plant are applied to taxa in multiple families; fennel-plant is more commonly applied to Foeniculum
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian tobacco, Indian-tobacco
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