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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 (

TaxonPersicaria maculosa
Family common name(s)buckwheat; smartweed; knotweed
Genus common name(s)persicaria; persicary; peachwort; peach-wort
Species common name(s)spotted persicaria; spotted lady's-thumb; spotted lady's thumb; spotted ladysthumb; spotted knotweed; spotted knot-weed; spotted knot weed; spotted smartweed; spotted arsmart; spotted arssmart; spotted arsemart; redshank persicaria; red-shank persicaria; redshanks persicaria; redleg persicaria; red-leg persicaria; red leg persicaria; heart-spot knotweed; heartweed; lady's thumbprint; thumbprint smartweed; willow-weed redshank; dead arssmart persicaria; dead arssmart; dead arsmart; dead arsemart; mild arsmart; mild arssmart; lover's-pride; lover's pride; lovers pride; Adam's plaster
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon persicaria, common persicary, lady's-thumb smartweed, ladysthumb smartweed, ladysthumb-smartweed, water-pepper, water pepper, waterpepper, common water-pepper, common water pepper, common waterpepper, common smartweed, biting persicaria, biting knotweed, biting knot-weed, biting knot weed, biting tongue, bite-tongue, bite tongue, bity-tongue, bity tongue, bitytongue, willow-weed, willow weed, arsmart, arssmart, arsesmart, arse-smart, asmart, ass-smart, culrage, ciderage, red-knees, red knees are applied to multiple Persicaria taxa; smartweed, smart-weed, smart weed, doorweed, door-weed, door-grass, knotweed, knot-weed, knot weed, tear-thumb, tear thumb, tearthumb, pinkweed, pink-weed, pink-weed are applied to multiple Polygonaceae taxa; redshank, red-shank, red shank, redshanks, red-shanks, red shanks, redleg, red-leg, red leg, redweed, red-weed, red weed, lady's thumb, lady's-thumb, ladysthumb, black-heart, black heart, heart's-ease, heart's ease, hearts'-ease, hearts' ease, heartsease, heart-weed, heart weed, crab's-claw are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcPolygonum persicaria L.
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