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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 (

TaxonEpilobium ciliatum subsp. watsonii
Family common name(s)evening primrose; evening-primrose; evening primroses
Genus common name(s)epilobium; epiloby; spike-primrose; spike primrose; spikeprimrose
Species common name(s)ciliate willow-herb; ciliate willowherb; ciliated willow-herb; ciliated willow herb; ciliated willowherb; ciliated epiloby; fringed willow-herb; fringed willow herb; fringed willowherb; fringed willowweed; common willow-herb; common willowherb; common willow-weed; common willow weed; American willow-herb; American willow herb; American willowherb; green willow herb; coast willow-weed; coast willow weed; coast willowweed
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxanorthern willowherb, northern willow-herb, northern willow herb, northern-willowherb, slender willow-herb, slender willow herb, slender willowherb, hairy willow-herb, hairy willow herb, hairy willowherb, hairy willowweed, California willow-herb, California willow herb, California willowherb are applied to multiple Epilobium taxa; purple-leaved willowherb, purple-leaved willow-herb, purple-leaved willow herb, purple-leaved willowherb, purple-leaf willowherb, purpleleaf willowherb, tall willow-herb, tall willow herb, tall willowherb are commonly applied to Epilobium coloratum; dwarf fireweed is applied to multiple Onagraceae taxa; California cottonweed, cottonweed, cotton-weed, cotton weed, willow-herb, willow herb, willowherb, willow-weed, willow weed, willowweed, fireweed, fire-weed, fire weed are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesWatson, American are proper names, so upper case preferable; Watsons is an error
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcEpilobium watsonii Barbey; Epilobium watsonii Barbey var. franciscanum (Barbey) Jeps.
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