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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 (

TaxonEmex australis
Family common name(s)buckwheat; smartweed; knotweed
Genus common name(s)emex; three-cornered Jack; three cornered jack; three-cornered jack; threecornered Jack; threecornered jack; three-corner-jack; three corner jack; threecorner-jack; threecorner jack; threecornerjack
Species common name(s)southern three-cornered Jack; southern three cornered Jack; southern three-cornered jack; southern three-corner-Jack; southern three-corner-jack; southern three corner jack; southern threecornerjack; prickly jacks; cape-spinach; cape spinach
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaspiny emex, doublegee, double-gee, double gee, lesser Jack, lesser jack are applied to multiple Emex taxa; devil's thorn, devil's-thorn, goat head, goat-head, goathead, goat's head, goats head, goatshead, bullhead, bull head, bull's head, cat's head, cat head, cathead are applied to taxa in multiple families
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