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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 (

TaxonEriogonum fasciculatum var. polifolium
Family common name(s)buckwheat; smartweed; knotweed
Genus common name(s)eriogonum; woolly knees; woolly knotweed; woolly knot weed; North American wild buckwheat; North American wild-buckwheat; American wild-buckwheat; American wild buckwheat; American buckwheat
Species common name(s)California wild-buckwheat; California wild buckwheat; wild California buckwheat; California flat-topped buckwheat; California flat-top buckwheat; California flattop buckwheat; eastern Mojave wild buckwheat; eastern Mojave wild-buckwheat; eastern Mojave buckwheat; eastern Mojave-buckwheat; eastern Mohave buckwheat
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxainland California buckwheat, interior California buckwheat, desert California buckwheat are applied to multiple Eriogonum fasciculatum vars.; California buckwheat, flat-topped wild buckwheat, flat-topped wild-buckwheat, flat-topped buckwheat, flat topped buckwheat, flat-top wild buckwheat, flat top wild buckwheat, flattop wild buckwheat, flat-top buckwheat, flattop buckwheat, flat-top eriogonum, Mojave buckwheat, Mohave buckwheat, desert wild buckwheat, yellow buckwheat, mountain buckwheat, shrubby buckwheat, shrubby wild buckwheat, bush buckwheat are applied to multiple Eriogonum taxa; buckwheat, buck-wheat, buck wheat, wild buckwheat, wild-buckwheat, common buckwheat are applied to multiple Polygonaceae taxa; flat-top, flat top, umbrella-plant, umbrella plant, umbrellaplant are applied to taxa in multiple families
Common name(s), rejectednot recommended: Indian pipeweed, Indian-pipeweed, Indian pipe-weed, Indian pipe weed
NotesCalifornia, Mojave, Mohave are proper names, so upper case preferable
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