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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 (

TaxonPolystichum scopulinum
Family common name(s)wood fern; wood-fern; woodfern
Genus common name(s)polystichum; polystich; polystic; sword-fern; sword fern; swordfern; Christmas fern
Species common name(s)western holly-fern; western holly fern; western hollyfern; rock holly-fern; rock holly fern; Eaton's holly-fern; Eaton's holly fern; Eaton's hollyfern; Eaton holly-fern; Eaton holly fern; Eaton hollyfern
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxamountain holly-fern, mountain holly fern, mountain hollyfern, rock sword-fern, rock sword fern, rock swordfern are applied to multiple Polystichum taxa; holly fern, holly-fern, hollyfern, shield-fern, shield fern are applied to multiple Dryopteridaceae taxa; bristle fern is more commonly applied to Trichomanes
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcAspidium aculeatum (L.) Sw. var. scopulinum D.C. Eaton; Polystichum mohrioides (Bory) C. Presl var. scopulinum (D.C. Eaton) Fernald
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