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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 (

TaxonPoa secunda subsp. secunda
Family common name(s)grass; true grass
Genus common name(s)poa; blue-grass; blue grass; bluegrass; bleu-grass; bleu grass; bleugrass; rispengrass; rispengras
Species common name(s)secund blue-grass; secund bluegrass; one-sided blue-grass; one-sided blue grass; one sided blue grass; one-sided bluegrass; one sided bluegrass; one-sided spear-grass; one-sided spear grass; one-sided speargrass; one sided speargrass; alkali blue-grass; alkali blue grass; alkali bluegrass; alkalai bluegrass
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsCanby's blue-grass [Poa canbyi]; Canby's blue grass [Poa canbyi]; Canby's bluegrass [Poa canbyi]; Canby blue-grass [Poa canbyi]; Canby blue grass [Poa canbyi]; Canby bluegrass [Poa canbyi]; Canby bleugrass [Poa canbyi]; fine-leafed blue-grass [Poa gracillima]; fine-leaf blue grass [Poa gracillima]; Pacific bluegrass [Poa gracillima]; Sandberg's blue-grass [Poa sandbergii]; Sandberg's blue grass [Poa sandbergii]; Sandberg's bluegrass [Poa sandbergii]; Sandberg blue-grass [Poa sandbergii]; Sandberg blue grass [Poa sandbergii]; Sandberg bluegrass [Poa sandbergii]; pine blue-grass [Poa scabrella]; pine blue grass [Poa scabrella]; pine bluegrass [Poa scabrella]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxaslender bluegrass, slender blue grass, rough bluegrass, rough blue-grass, rough blue grass, sand bluegrass, sand blue-grass, sand blue grass, early bluegrass, early blue-grass, early blue grass, steppe bluegrass, alkali poa, unilateral bluegrass are applied to multiple Poa taxa; meadow grass, meadow-grass, meadowgrass, bunch grass, bunch-grass, bunchgrass, spear-grass, speargrass, spear grass, smooth spear grass, tufted spear-grass, tufted spear grass, yellow spear grass, yellow spear-grass, June-grass, June grass, Junegrass, june-grass, june grass, junegrass, curly bluegrass, curly blue-grass, curly blue grass are applied to multiple Poaceae taxa
NotesSandberg, Canby, Pacific are proper names, so upper case preferable; Sandbergs, Canbys are errors
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcPoa canbyi (Scribn.) Howell; Poa gracillima Vasey; Poa incurva Scribn. & T.A. Williams; Poa sandbergii Vasey; Poa scabrella (Thurb.) Vasey
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