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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 (

TaxonOpuntia littoralis
Family common name(s)cactus
Genus common name(s)opuntia; prickly-pear cactus; prickly pear cactus; pricklypear cactus; prickly-pear; prickly pear; pricklypear; true prickly-pear; true prickly pear; prickle-pear cactus; prickle pear cactus; pricklepear cactus; prickle-pear; prickle pear; nopal; tuna; tuna cactus
Species common name(s)littoral prickly-pear; littoral pricklypear; nopal del litoral; coastal prickly-pear; coastal prickly pear; coastal pricklypear; coastal prickly-pear cactus; coastal prickly pear cactus; coastal pricklypear cactus; coast prickly-pear; coast prickly pear; coast pricklypear; coast prickly-pear cactus; coast prickly pear cactus; short coastal prickly-pear; short coastal prickly pear; short coastal prickly-pear cactus; short coastal prickly pear cactus
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxasprawling prickly-pear, sprawling prickly pear are applied to multiple Opuntia taxa; western prickly-pear, western pricklypear, western prickly pear are most appropriately applied to Opuntia X occidentalis
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian-fig, Indian fig, Indian-fig prickly-pear, Indian-fig prickly pear, Indian-fig pricklypear, Indian fig prickly pear, Indian-fig opuntia, Indian fig opuntia, Indian pear
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcOpuntia semispinosa Griffiths; Opuntia occidentalis Engelm. & J.M. Bigelow, misapplied
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