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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 (

TaxonEleocharis palustris
Family common name(s)sedge; sedges; bulrush
Genus common name(s)spike-rush; spike rush; spikerush; spiked-rush; spiked rush
Species common name(s)marsh spike-rush; marsh spike rush; marsh spikerush; marsh spike-sedge; marsh spikesedge; aglet-headed spike-rush; aglet-head spike-rush; aglet-head rush; common spiked-rush; common spiked rush; great spike-rush; great spike rush
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsSmall's spike-rush [Eleocharis smallii]; Small spike-rush [Eleocharis smallii]; Small's spike rush [Eleocharis smallii]; Small's spikerush [Eleocharis smallii]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacommon spike-rush, common spike rush, common spikerush, common spike-sedge, common spikesedge, long-stem spike-rush, longstem spikesedge, large spikerush, pale spike-rush, pale spike rush, pale spikerush, creeping spike-rush, creeping spike rush, creeping spikerush are applied to multiple Eleocharis taxa; spike-sedge, spike sedge, spikesedge are applied to Eleocharis s.l.; bayonet-grass, bayonet grass, bayonetgrass are applied to multiple Cyperaceae taxa; tule is more commonly applied to multiple Scirpus s.l.; wire grass, wire-grass, wiregrass are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesSmall is a proper name, so upper case preferable; Smalls is an error
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