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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 (

TaxonSambucus nigra subsp. caerulea
Family common name(s)muskroot; musk-root; musk root; moschatels; adoxas
Genus common name(s)sambucus; elderberry; elder-berry; elder berry; elder; elder tree; elderflower; elder-flower; elder flower; elder rind; elderr; ellanwood; ellhorn; ellar; ellarne; elnorne; elren; bone-tree; bone tree; boor-tree; boor tree; bore-tree; bore tree; bour-tree; bour tree; bourtree; bur-tree; bur tree; sauco
Species common name(s)European black elderberry; European black elder; black-berried European elder; European elderberry; European elder berry; European elder; European common elderberry; European common elder; Euroelder; Continental elder; German elder; English elder; parsley elder; whist-aller; winlin-berry; sa√∫co negro; sauco negro
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxablue elderberry, blue elder-berry, blue elder berry, blue elder, blueberry elderberry, blueberry elder, blue-berry elder, blue berry elder, black elderberry, black elder, black-berried elder, black berried elder, blackberry elder, black-berry elder, common elderberry, common elder-berry, common elder, Mexican elderberry, Arizona elder, New Mexico elder, desert elderberry, desert elder, mountain elder, stinking elderberry, stinking elder, sweet elder are applied to multiple Sambucus taxa; American black elderberry, American black elder, American black-berry elder, American black-berried elder, American elder, American elder tree, American sweet elder are more commonly applied to subsp. canadensis; Judas tree, Judas-tree are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesEuropean, German, English are proper names, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcCaprifoliaceae; Sambucus mexicana C. Presl ex DC., misapplied; Sambucus caerulea Raf.
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