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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 (

TaxonRhus aromatica
Family common name(s)sumac; sumach; sumachs; cashew; poison-oak; poison oak; poison-ivy; poison ivy
Genus common name(s)rhus; true sumac; sumac; sumach
Species common name(s)skunkbush sumac; skunk-bush sumac; skunk bush sumac; skunkbush sumach; skunk-bush sumach; skunk sumac; polecat sumac; aromatic sumac; aromatic sumach; ill-scented sumac; ill-scented sumach; ill scented sumach; fragrant sumac; fragrant sumach; fetid sumac; fetid sumach; three-leaved sumac; three-leaved sumach; three-leaved skunkbush; three-leaved skunk-bush; three-leafed sumac; three-leafed sumach; three-leaf sumac; three leaf sumac; threeleaf sumac; three-leaf sumach; three leaf sumach; three-leaf skunkbush; three-leaf skunk-bush; three-leaf skunk bush; three-lobed sumac; three-lobed sumach; three-lobe sumac; three lobe sumac; stink-bush; quailbush; basket-bush; basket bush; basketbush; shoneehaw
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketspubescent skunkbush sumac [Rhus trilobata var. pilosissima]; single-leaved skunkbrush [Rhus aromatica var. simplicifolia]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxalemonade berry, lemonade-berry, lemonadeberry are more commonly applied to Rhus integrifolia; lemon sumac is applied to multiple Rhus taxa; sourberry, sour-berry, sour berry, skunkbush, skunk-bush, skunk bush, stinking sumac, polecat-bush, polecat bush, polecatbush, shumac are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended (possibly pejorative or derogatory): aromatic squaw bush, squaw bush, squaw-bush, squawbush, squawbush sumac, squaw-bush sumac, squaw sumac, squawberry, squaw skunk-bush, squaw skunk bush; not recommended: Indian lemonade
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. simplicifolia (Greene) Cronquist; Rhus trilobata Torr. & A. Gray, including var. simplicifolia (Greene) F.A. Barkley
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