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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 (

TaxonOpuntia X vaseyi
Family common name(s)cactus
Genus common name(s)opuntia; prickly-pear cactus; prickly pear cactus; pricklypear cactus; prickly-pear; prickly pear; pricklypear; true prickly-pear; true prickly pear; prickle-pear cactus; prickle pear cactus; pricklepear cactus; prickle-pear; prickle pear; nopal; tuna; tuna cactus
Species common name(s)Vasey's prickly-pear; Vasey's prickly pear; Vasey's coastal prickly-pear; Vasey's coastal pricklypear; Vasey's coastal prickly-pear cactus; Vasey's coastal pricklypear cactus; Vasey prickly-pear; Vasey prickly pear; Vasey coastal prickly-pear; Vasey coastal pricklypear; Vasey coastal prickly-pear cactus; Vasey coastal pricklypear cactus; mesa tuna; apricot prickly-pear; apricot prickly pear
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxagolden prickly pear, sprawling prickly pear are applied to multiple Opuntia taxa
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian-fig, Indian fig, Indian-fig prickly-pear, Indian-fig prickly pear, Indian-fig pricklypear, Indian fig prickly pear, Indian-fig opuntia, Indian fig opuntia, Indian pear
NotesVasey is a proper name, so upper case preferable; Vaseys is an error
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etc[Opuntia littoralis X Opuntia phaeacantha] Opuntia littoralis (Engelm.) Cockerell var. austrocalifornica L.D. Benson & Walk.; Opuntia littoralis (Engelm.) Cockerell var. vaseyi (J.M. Coult.) L.D. Benson & Walk.; Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow var. covillei (Britton & Rose) Parish
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