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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 (

TaxonAcer glabrum var. glabrum
Family common name(s)soapberry; soapberries
Genus common name(s)maple
Species common name(s)western mountain maple; dwarf mountain maple; Rocky Mountain maple; dwarf Rocky Mountain maple; California mountain maple
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsGreene's maple [var. greenei]; Greene's mountain maple [var. greenei]; Greene maple [var. greenei]; Greene mountain maple [var. greenei]; Torrey's maple [var. torreyi]; Torrey's mountain maple [var. torreyi]; Torrey maple [var. torreyi]; Torrey mountain maple [var. torreyi]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaDouglas maple, Douglas Rocky Mountain maple, three-leaf Rocky Mountain maple, three leaf Rocky Mountain maple, threeleaf Rocky Mountain maple, trileaf Rocky Mountain maple, rose-fruit Rocky Mountain maple, New Mexico maple are more commonly applied to vars. not documented in CA; white maple, soft maple, water maple, mountain maple, dwarf maple, red maple, shrub maple, shrubby maple, bark maple, box maple, rock maple are applied to multiple Acer taxa
NotesRocky Mountain are proper names, so upper case preferable; Rockymountain, rockymountain are errors
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcAceraceae; var. greenei A.C. Keller; var. torreyi (Greene) Smiley
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