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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 (

TaxonPolygonum aviculare subsp. buxiforme
Family common name(s)buckwheat; smartweed
Genus common name(s)polygonum; true knotweed
Species common name(s)prostrate knotweed; prostrate knot-weed; prostrate knot weed; prostrate knotgrass; prostrate smartweed; prostrate doorweed; prostrate wiregrass; barnyard knotweed; yard knotweed; male knotgrass; male knot-grass; bird's lake-weed; chivalry-grass; chivalry grass; chivalrygrass; dishwater-grass; ninety-knot; ninety knot; nine-joints; allseed nine-joints; sparrow's-tongue; sparrow's tongue; sparrow-tongue; sparrow tongue; swines' grass; swines-grass; swines grass; swine's-grass; swine's grass; swynel grass; pigrush; tacker-grass; tacker grass; tackergrass; way-grass; way grass; waygrass; centynody; road-spread
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon knotweed, bird knotgrass, bird-knotgrass, bird knot-grass, bird knot grass, bird's-knotgrass, bird's knot-grass are applied to multiple Polygonum taxa; knotweed, knot-weed, knot weed, buckwheat, buck-wheat, buck wheat, false buckwheat, false-buckwheat, doorweed, door-weed, door grass, door-grass, dooryard grass, door-yard grass, tear-thumb, tear thumb, tearthumb, pinkweed, pink-weed, pink-weed are applied to multiple Polygonaceae taxa; knot grass, knotgrass, knot-grass, common knotgrass, knotwort, knot-wort, knowgrass, know grass, bird's-tongue, bird's tongue, birdweed, bird weed, bird-weed, bird grass, bird-grass, bird's grass, fat-hen, fat hen, fathen, wire grass, wire-grass, wiregrass, common wiregrass, wireweed, wire-weed, wire weed, cow-grass, cow grass, cowgrass, crabgrass, crab-grass, crab grass, crabweed, crab-weed, crab weed, goose-grass, goosegrass, yard grass, yard-grass, yardgrass, mat grass, mat-grass, matgrass, iron-grass, iron grass, hog weed, hog-weed, hogweed, pigweed, pig-weed, pig weed, swinegrass, swine-grass, swine grass, iron-weed, iron weed, ironweed, heart's-ease, heart's ease, hearts'-ease, hearts' ease, heartsease, lady's-thumb, lady's thumb, lady's-thumb, ladysthumb, beggar-weed, beggar weed, beggarweed, redweed, red-weed, red weed, red robin, blood-wort, allseed, stone-weed, stone weed, stoneweed, armstrong are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcPolygonum buxiforme Small
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