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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 (

TaxonXerophyllum tenax
Family common name(s)false hellebore; bunchflower
Genus common name(s)xerophyllum; moose-grass; moose grass; turkey-beard; turkey beard; turkeybeard; turkey's beard; Turk's beard; Turk's-beard
Species common name(s)western bear-grass; western bear grass; western beargrass; western turkey-beard; western turkey beard; western turkeybeard; bear-lily; bear lily; elk-grass; elk grass; elkgrass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon beargrass, common bear-grass, common bear grass, beargrass, bear-grass, bear grass, elkgrass, basket-grass, basket grass, basketgrass, mountain lily, fire lily, fire-lily, pine-lily, pine lily, pinelily, sourgrass, sour-grass, sour grass, deergrass, deer-grass, deer grass, blanket grass, soapgrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended (possibly pejorative or derogatory): squaw-grass, squaw grass, squawgrass; not recommended: Indian basket-grass, Indian basket grass, Indian blanket grass, Indian grass, Indian-grass
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcLiliaceae s.l.
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