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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 (

TaxonMicropus californicus var. californicus
Family common name(s)composite; composita; comp; aster; asterwort; asterworts; sunflower; daisy; dandelion
Genus common name(s)micropus
Species common name(s)slender cottonseed; sweetclover slender cottonseed; Q-tips; q-tips; q tips
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaCalifornia cottonweed, slender cottonweed, slender cotton-weed, cottonseed, cottonweed, cotton-weed, cotton weed, cottontop, cotton-top, cotton top are applied to taxa in multiple families; California dwarf-sunflower is applied to multiple Asteraceae taxa
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcBombycilaena californica (Fisch. & C.A. Mey.) Holub var. californica; Bombycilaena californica (Fisch. & C.A. Mey.) Smolj.
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