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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 (

TaxonCardamine californica
Family common name(s)crucifer; cruciferae; cruciform; mustard; mustards; cabbage; cress; cresses; brassica
Genus common name(s)cardamine
Species common name(s)California milk-maids; California milk maids; California milkmaids; California bitter-cress; California toothwort
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketswoodland milk-maids [var. californica]; woodland milkmaids [var. californica]; lad's toothwort; [var. cardiophylla]; Vaca Mountains toothwort; [var. cardiophylla]; Vaca Mountain toothwort; [var. cardiophylla]; Vaca toothwort [var. cardiophylla]; wedge-shaped toothwort [var. cuneata]; rain-bells [var. integrifolia]; meadow milk-maids [var. integrifolia]; meadow milk maids [var. integrifolia]; meadow milkmaids [var. integrifolia]; dissected-leaved toothwort [Cardamine pachystigma var. dissectifolia]; dissected-leaf toothwort [Cardamine pachystigma var. dissectifolia]; dissected leaf toothwort [Cardamine pachystigma var. dissectifolia]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxabittercress, bitter cress, bitter-cress, spring cress, spring-cress are applied to multiple Brassicaceae taxa; tooth-wort, toothwort, tooth wort, milk-maids, milkmaids, milk maids, milk-maid, milkmaid, milk maid, lady's-smock, ladies' smock, ladies smock, pepper-root, pepperroot, pepper-root, spring-blossom, spring blossome are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. californica; var. cardiophylla (Greene) Rollins; var. cuneata (Greene) Rollins; var. integrifolia (Torr. & A. Gray) Rollins; var. sinuata (Greene) O. Schulz; Cardamine pachystigma (S. Watson) Rollins var. dissectifolia (Detling) Rollins; Dentaria californica Nutt., include var. californica, var. cuneata (Greene) Detling, var. integrifolia (Nutt.) Detling, var. sinuata (Greene) Detling; Dentaria pachystigma (S. Watson) S. Watson var. dissectifolia Detling
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