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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 (

TaxonCeanothus thyrsiflorus var. thyrsiflorus
Family common name(s)buckthorn; buckthorns
Genus common name(s)ceanothus; ceanoto; California lilac; California-lilac; Californian lilac; California mountain lilac; California mountain-lilac; California wild lilac; mountain lilac; mountain-lilac; mtn lilac; wild lilac; wild-lilac
Species common name(s)blue-blossom; blue blossom; blueblossom; blue-blossom ceanothus; blue blossom ceanothus; blueblossom ceanothus; blue-blossum California-lilac; blue-blossum California lilac; blue blossum California lilac; coast blue-blossom; coast blue blossom; coast blueblossom; blue-blossom mountain-lilac; blue-blossom mountain lilac; blue blossom mountain lilac; blue-blossom wild-lilac; blue-blossom wild lilac; blue blossom wild lilac; blue mountain-lilac; blue mountain lilac; blue-brush ceanothus; blue brush ceanothus; blue-brush; blue brush; bluebrush; California blue-brush; California blue brushblue-brush California-lilac; blue-brush California lilac; blue brush California-lilac; blue brush California lilac; blue-brush wild-lilac; blue brush wild-lilac; blue brush wild lilac; bluebrush wild-lilac; bluebrush wild lilac; blue-bush ceanothus; blue bush ceanothus; bluebush ceanothus; California blue-bush; California blue bush; blueblossom blue-myrtle; blueblossom blue myrtle; blue-myrtle ceanothus; blue-myrtle California-lilac; blue myrtle California lilac; California blue myrtle; Big Sur California lilac; Big Sur mountain lilac; Big Sur lilac
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketscreeping blueblossom [var. repens]; low blue blossom [var. repens]; tall blue blossom [var. thyrsiflorus s.s.]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxablue ceanothus, blue lilac, tea-brush ceanothus, tea brush ceanothus, teabrush ceanothus are applied to multiple Ceanothus taxa; blue bush, blue-myrtle, blue myrtle, myrtle, deerbrush, dear brush, deer-brush, bllue blossoms, red-root, red root, soapberry, soap-berry, soap berry are applied to taxa in multiple families
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. repens McMinn
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