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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 (

TaxonHelianthus petiolaris subsp. petiolaris
Family common name(s)composite; composita; comp; aster; asterwort; asterworts; sunflower; daisy; dandelion
Genus common name(s)sunflower; sun-flower; sun flower
Species common name(s)petiolate sunflower; petioled sunflower; lesser sunflower
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaprairie sunflower, plains sunflower, Kansas sunflower, annual wild sunflower are applied to multiple Helianthus taxa; wild sunflower is applied to multiple Asteraceae taxa; yerba amarilla is applied to taxa in multiple families
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