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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 (

TaxonPascopyrum smithii
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)pascopyrum
Species common name(s)western wheat-grass; western wheat grass; western wheatgrass; soft western wheat-grass; soft western wheat grass; Smith's wheat-grass; Smith's wheat grass; Smith's wheatgrass; Smith's blue-joint; Smith's blue joint; Smith's bluejoint; Smith's bluestem; Smith wheat-grass; Smith wheat grass; Smith wheatgrass; Smith blue-joint; Smith blue joint; Smith bluejoint; Smith bluestem; Wyoming wheatgrass; Colorado wheatgrass
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawheatgrass, wheat-grass, wheat grass, western wildrye, western wild-rye, western wild rye, alkali grass, alkali-grass, alkaligrass, bluestem, blue-stem, blue stem, bluestem grass, blue-stem grass, blue stem grass, Colorado bluestem, Colorado blue-stem, Colorado blue stem, blue-joint, blue joint, bluejoint, western couchgrass, western couch-grass, western couch grass, western wild-rye, western wild rye are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; bluebunch wheatgrass is more commonly applied to Elymus spicatus [Pseudoroegneria spicata]
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcElymus smithii (Rydb.) Gould; Agropyron smithii Rydb.; Elytrigia smithii (Rydb.) Nevski
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