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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 (

TaxonAchnatherum thurberianum
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)achnatherum
Species common name(s)Thurber's needle-grass; Thurber's needle grass; Thurber's needlegrass; Thurber's stipa; Thurber needle-grass; Thurber needle grass; Thurber needlegrass; Thurber stipa
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaneedlegrass, needle-grass, needle grass, rice grass, rice-grass, ricegrass, false rice grass, false rice-grass, false ricegrass are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; puna grass, puna-grass, punagrass, woolgrass, woolly grass, wooly grass, woollygrass, woolygrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian ricegrass, Indian rice grass, Indian rice-grass
NotesThurber is a proper name, so upper case preferable; Thurbers is an error
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcStipa thurberiana Piper
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