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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 (

TaxonLactuca ludoviciana
Family common name(s)composite; composita; comp; aster; asterwort; asterworts; sunflower; daisy; dandelion
Genus common name(s)lettuce
Species common name(s)Louisiana lettuce; Louisiana wild-lettuce; western lettuce; western wild lettuce; western prairie lettuce; prairie lettuce; prairie wild lettuce; larkspur lettuce; biannual lettuce
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxabiennial lettuce is applied to multiple Lactuca taxa; sow-thistle, sow thistle, sowthistle are more commonly applied to Sonchus; blue lettuce, wild blue lettuce, blue wild lettuce, wild lettuce, wild-lettuce, wildlettuce are applied to multiple Asteraceae taxa; milkweed, milk-weed, milk weed are applied to taxa in multiple families
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