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Recommended vernacular names for common plants of British Columbia

Editor(s): D.V. Meidinger
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Botany
Series: Research Report
Other details:  Published 1987. Hardcopy is available.


The main objective of this publication is to recommend common names for the indicator plants used in Ecology Programme publications. For some species, there are many common names - for others, there may be only one or even none in "common" usage. For species with many vernacular names, the choice of any one name is often arbitrary, however, I tried to choose the name that is most commonly used in floras and plant guides relevant to British Columbia. For species with no real "common" name, I used whatever I could find or whatever has been suggested to users of the Ecosystem Classification system at Ministry training courses.

This list does not present common names for all plant species in British Columbia, but only for those that: 1) have "indicator" value; 2) are not rare or localized in distribution; and, 3) could be useful in ecosystem identification as they do not require a compound microscope or specialized chemicals for identification (as do most mosses, lichens and liverworts). The term "indicator" has a very broad and varied usage, but for this publication it generally refers to plants that are general to specific indicators of climate, soil moisture and soil nutrient regime, or successional development

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Updated November 14, 2008