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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 (

TaxonHeliotropium curassavicum var. oculatum
Family common name(s)borage; boragewort; borageworts; forget-me-not; fiddleneck; waterleaf; water-leaf; water leaf; baby-eyes
Genus common name(s)heliotrope; heliotropo
Species common name(s)salt heliotrope; seaside heliotrope; sea-side heliotrope; alkali heliotrope; alkalai heliotrope; smooth heliotrope; quail plant; Chinese pusley; Chinese-pusley; spatulate-leaved heliotrope; spatulate-leaf heliotrope
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxawild heliotrope, wild-heliotrope are applied to multiple Boraginaceae taxa; scorpion's tail, scorpion-tail, scorpion tail, scorpiontail, Chinese parsley, Chinese-parsley, pusley, alkali heath, alkali-heath, alkalai heath, white-weed, white weed, devilweed, devil-weed, devil weed, monkey-tail, monkey tail, turnsole, turn-sole are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesChinese is a proper name, so upper case preferable
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