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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 (

TaxonMedicago polymorpha
Family common name(s)legume; legumes; leguminosae; pea; bean; clover; pulse; pulses
Genus common name(s)medicago; medick; medic; bur medick; burr medick; bur medic; burr medic; burmedic; burrmedic; burclover; burrclover; bur-clover; bur clover; burr clover; burr-clover; melilot; melilot trefoil; nonsuch; alfalfa; alphalpha
Species common name(s)toothed medick; toothed medic; toothed burr medick; toothed burr medic; toothed bur-clover; toothed bur clover; toothed burr clover; toothed burclover; common burr medick; multi-formed medick; polymorphic medic; common burr medic; common bur-clover; common burclover; common bur clover; common burr clover; Shanghai trefoil
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxahairy medick, hairy medic, annual medick, annual medic, heart medick are applied to multiple Medicago taxa; hop clover, hop-clover, trefoil are applied to multiple Fabaceae taxa; nonesuch is applied to taxa in multiple families
Notesalthough not native, sometimes called California burclover, California bur-clover, California clover, California lucerne, Californian lucerne
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcMedicago hispida Gaertn.; Medicago nigra Krock.
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