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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 (

TaxonCitrullus lanatus var. citroides
Family common name(s)cucurbit; cucumber; gourd; gourds; squash
Genus common name(s)citrullus; sandia; watermelon
Species common name(s)watermelon; water-melon; water melon; sweet watermelon; wild watermelon; wild water-melon; wild water melon; Afghan melon; camel melon; mickey melon; bastard melon
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawild gourd, wild melon, paddy melon, paddy-melon, paddymelon, pie melon, pie-melon, water gourd, ground gourd, bitter gourd, bitter melon, bitter cucumber, preserving melon, preserving-melon are applied to multiple Cucurbitaceae taxa; citron, bitter-apple, bitter apple are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended (pejorative or derogatory): kaffir melon
NotesIndia, Indian are proper names, so upper case preferable
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcCitrullus colocynthis var. lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai, ined.; Citrullus vulgaris Schrad. ex Eckl. & Zeyh., in part
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