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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 (

TaxonBromus sterilis
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)bromus; brome; brome-grass; brome grass; bromegrass; bromo; chess; chess-grass; chess grass; chessgrass
Species common name(s)poverty cheat; poverty cheat-grass; poverty cheat grass; proverty brome; proverty brome-grass; proverty brome grass; proverty bromegrass; sterile brome; sterile brome-grass; sterile brome grass; sterile bromegrass; barren brome; barren brome-grass; barren brome grass; barren bromegrass; barren chess; barren barngrass; introduced barren barngrass; ridged brome grass; ridged bromegrass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxasoft chess, annual brome, annual brome-grass, annual brome grass, annual bromegrass are applied to multiple Bromus taxa; haver, haver grass, cheatgrass, cheat-grass, cheat grass, cheat are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; black-grass, black grass, blackgrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
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