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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 microdasys
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)bunny-ears prickly-pear; bunny-ears prickly pear; bunny-ears pricklypear; bunny ears prickly pear; bunny ears pricklypear; bunny-ears cactus; bunny ears cactus; bunnyears cactus; bunny ears; bunny-ear prickly-pear; bunny-ear prickly pear; bunny ear prickly pear; rabbit ears prickly pear; polka-dot cactus; polka dot cactus
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaangel-wing cactus, angelwing cactus, angel wing cactus, angel's wings cactus, nopal cegador, nopalillo cegador, blinding nopal, blinding nopalillo, blinding prickly pear, blinder cactus, dazzling nopal, dazzling prickly pear are applied to multiple Opuntia taxa; bunny cactus is applied to multiple Cactaceae taxa; rabbit-ears, rabbit ears, angel's-wings, angel's wings, angel wings are applied to taxa in multiple families
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
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