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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 (

TaxonAmbrosia artemisiifolia
Family common name(s)composite; composita; comp; aster; asterwort; asterworts; sunflower; daisy; dandelion
Genus common name(s)ambrosia; ragweed; rag-weed; rag weed; bur-sage; bur sage; bursage; burr-sage; burr sage; burr-ragweed; burr ragweed; bur-ragweed; bur ragweed; burro brush; burro-brush; burrobrush
Species common name(s)artemisia-leaved ambrosia; artemisia-leafed ambrosia; mugwort-leaved ambrosia; mugwort-leaf ambrosia; annual ragweed; annual rag-weed; annual rag weed; short ragweed; small ragweed; low ragweed; bastard wormwood; false wormwood; conotweed; conot weed; hay-weed; hay weed; ox-tail
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketscut-leaved ragweed [var. elatior]; cut-leaf ragweed [var. elatior]; sea ragweed [Ambrosia maritima]; oak-of-Cappadocia [Ambrosia maritima]; oak of Cappadocia [Ambrosia maritima]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon ragweed, smaller ragweed, hay-fever weed, hayfever weed, hay fever weed, altamisa are applied to multiple Ambrosia taxa; Roman wormwood, stammerwort, stammer-wort, wild wormwood, wormwood are applied to multiple Asteraceae taxa; bitterweed, bitter weed, bitter-weed, carrot weed, carrot-weed, carrotweed, stickweed, stick-weed, stick weed, hog weed, hog-weed, hogweed, blackweed, black-weed, black weed, tasselweed, tassel-weed, tassel weed, wild tansy, tansy are applied to taxa in multiple families
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