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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 (

TaxonYucca brevifolia
Family common name(s)agave; century plant; century-plant; centuryplant
Genus common name(s)yucca; Spanish bayonet; Spanish-bayonet; Spanish dagger; Spanish-dagger; grass-cactus; grass cactus
Species common name(s)Joshua tree; Joshua-tree; Joshuatree; Joshua-tree yucca; Joshua tree yucca; Joshuatree yucca; Joshua yucca; Joshua yucca tree; Joshua Spanish dagger; Joshua Spanish-dagger; Joshua palm; Joshua; the Joshua; √°rbol Joshua; d√°til de Joshua; yucca palm; yucca-palm; yucca palm tree; short-leaved yucca; short leaved yucca; short-leafed yucca; short-leaf yucca; short leaf yucca; Palmyra cactus; izote de desierto
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsJaeger's Joshua tree [var. jaegeriana]; miniature Joshua tree [var. jaegeriana]; pygmy yucca [var. jaegeriana]; pygmae yucca [var. jaegeriana]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxatree yucca is applied to multiple Yucca taxa; dagger flower, dagger-flower, daggerweed, dagger-weed, dagger weed, soapwort, soap-wort, soap wort, soap-plant, soapplant, soap plant, soap root, soap-root, soaproot, soapweed, soap-weed, soap weed, Adam's needle, Adam's-needle, izote, cabbage tree are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesJaeger is a proper name, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcLiliaceae s.l.; var. brevifolia; var. jaegeriana McKelvey; Cleistoyucca brevifolia (Engelm.) Rydb
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