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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 (

TaxonVulpia microstachys var. ciliata
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)vulpia; vulpia grass; vulpia hair-grass; vulpia hair grass; vulpia hairgrass; squirrel-tailed fescue; squirrel-tail fescue; squirrel tail fescue, squirreltail fescue; six-weeks fescue; six weeks fescue; sixweeks fescue; annual fescue
Species common name(s)Nuttall's vulpia; Nuttall's fescue; Nuttall vulpia; Nuttall fescue; small six-weeks grass; small sixweeks grass; two-flower fescue; twoflower fescue; three-weeks fescue; three weeks fescue; three-week fescue; three week fescue; hairy-leaved fescue; hairy-leaf fescue; hairyleaf fescue; small fescue
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxanative annual fescue, fringed fescue, ciliate fescue, zorro grass are applied to multiple Vulpia taxa; little fescue, gray fescue, grey fescue are applied to multiple Festuca s.l. taxa; rat-tail fescue, rat tail fescue, rattail fescue are more commonly applied to Vulpia myuros; mousetail grass, mouse-tail grass, mouse tail grass, six-weeks grass, six weeks grass, sixweeks grass, sixweeks-grass, six-week grass are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa; silver grass, silvergrass, rat-tail, rat tail, rattail, rat's tail are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesEastwood, Gray (when referring to a person, e.g., A. Gray), Nuttall are proper names, so upper case preferable; Eastwoods, Grays, Grey, Nuttalls, Nuttal, Nuttals, Nuttal's, Nuttals' are errors
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcVulpia eastwoodae (Piper) Henrard; Vulpia grayi (Abrams) Henrard; Festuca microstachys Nutt. var. ciliata A. Gray ex Beal; Festuca microstachys Nutt. subsp. grayi Abrams; Festuca eastwoodae Piper; Festuca grayi (Abrams) Piper
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