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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 (

TaxonLepidium virginicum subsp. menziesii
Family common name(s)crucifer; cruciferae; cruciform; mustard; mustards; cabbage; cress; cresses; brassica
Genus common name(s)lepidium
Species common name(s)Virginia peppercress; Virginia pepperwort; Virginia peppergrass; Virginia pepper-grass; Virginia pepper grass; Virginia pepperweed; Virginia pepper-weed; Virginia pepper weed; Virginian peppercress; American pepperwort; American peppergrass; American pepper-grass; bird's-pepper; bird's pepper; birds' pepper; birds pepper; large pepper-grass; large peppergrass
Common name(s) specific to synonym; taxon noted in bracketsmedium pepperweed [var. medium]; pubescent pepperweed [var. pubescens; Robinson's peppergrass [var. robinsonii]; Robinson's pepper-grass [var. robinsonii]; Robinson's pepperweed [var. robinsonii]; Robinson peppergrass [var. robinsonii]; Robinson pepper-grass [var. robinsonii]; Robinson pepperweed [var. robinsonii]; friends pepper-grass [var. robinsonii]]; Idaho pepper-grass [Lepidium idahoense]
Common name(s) generally applied to other taxa or multiple taxacrow-cress, crow cress, wild pepper-grass, wild peppergrass, wild pepper grass, common peppergrass, common pepper-grass, common pepperweed, field pepper-grass, field peppergrass, field pepper grass, tall pepperweed, poorman's-pepperwort, poorman pepperweed, poorman's pepper, poor-man's-pepper, poor-man's pepper, poor man's pepper are applied to multiple Lepidium taxa; Virginia cress, Virginia-cress, peppercress, pepper-cress, pepper cress, peppergrass, pepper grass, pepper-weed, pepperweed, pepper weed are applied to multiple Brassicaceae taxa; chickweed, chick-weed, chick weed, whitetop, white-top, white top, whiteweed, white-weed, white weed, pepperwort, pepper-plant, pepperplant, pepper plant, pepper-grass, peppergrass, pepper grass, tongue-grass, tonguegrass, tongue grass are applied to taxa in multiple families
NotesVirginia, American, Menzies, Idaho are proper names, so upper case preferable; Menzie's is an error
Synonymy: The Jepson Manual (1993), FNA, PLANTS, etcvar. medium (Greene) C.L. Hitchc.; var. pubescens (Greene) Thell.; var. robinsonii (Thell.) C.L. Hitchc.; var. menziesii (DC.) C.L. Hitchc.
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