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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 (

TaxonOlea europaea
Family common name(s)olive; ash
Genus common name(s)olive; olive tree
Species common name(s)European olive; Mediterranean olive; cultivated olive; cultivated olive tree; common olive; common olive tree; true olive; true olive tree
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsAfrican olive [subsp. africana]; African wild olive [subsp. africana]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawild-olive, wild olive are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesEuropean, Mediterranean, African are proper names, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcsubsp. europaea; subsp. africana (Mill.) P.S. Green; Olea africana Mill.
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