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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 (

TaxonCarthamus lanatus
Family common name(s)composite; composita; comp; aster; asterwort; asterworts; sunflower; daisy; dandelion
Genus common name(s)carthamus; distaff thistle; distaff-thistle; distaffthistle
Species common name(s)woolly distaff thistle; woolly distaff-thistle; woolly distaffthistle; wooly distaff thistle; woolly saffron thistle; downy safflower; saffron-thistle; woolly safflower; wooly safflower; downy safflower; woolly star thistle; woolly star-thistle; woolly starthistle; wooly star thistle; false star thistle; false star-thistle; false starthistle
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxasaffron thistle, saffronthistle, safflower is applied to multiple Carthamus taxa; woolly thistle is applied to multiple Asteraceae taxa
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