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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 (

TaxonOenothera californica subsp. californica
Family common name(s)evening primrose; evening-primrose; evening primroses
Genus common name(s)oenothera; evening-primrose; evening primrose; eveningprimrose; evening-primroses
Species common name(s)California oenothera; Watson's evening-primrose; Watson's evening primrose
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaCalifornia evening-primrose, California evening primrose, California eveningprimrose, California primrose, desert evening primrose, desert evening-primrose, desert eveningprimrose are applied to multiple Onagraceae taxa
NotesCalifornia, Watson are proper names, so upper case preferable; Watsons is an error
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. glabrata Munz
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