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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 (

TaxonFrangula californica subsp. cuspidata
Family common name(s)buckthorn; buckthorns
Genus common name(s)frangula
Species common name(s)California coffee-berry; California coffee berry; California coffeeberry; Californian coffeeberry; California coffee-tree; California coffee tree; California coffee; coast coffee-berry; coast coffee berry; coast coffeeberry
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxahoary coffeeberry is applied to multiple Frangula californica subspp.; California buckthorn, Californian buckthorn, Sierra coffeeberry, Sierra coffee-berry, Sierra coffee berry are applied to multiple Frangula taxa; buckthorn, cascara sagrada are applied to multiple Rhamnaceae taxa; buckberry, false-buckthorn, false buckthorn, coffeeberry, coffee-berry, coffee berry, bearberry, bear-berry, bear berry, trinitas are applied to taxa in multiple families
Noteswhen Sierra is used as a proper name, upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcRhamnus tomentella Benth. subsp. cuspidata (Greene) J.O. Sawyer; Rhamnus cuspidata Greene; Rhamnus californica Eschsch. subsp. cuspidata (Greene) C.B. Wolf; Rhamnus californica Eschsch. var. viridula Jeps.
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