At some point in your life, you have asked the question, “Why am I named the way I am?” Your parents would probably have told you a hundred versions of how they decided on your name and maybe told of funny or momentous anecdotes in the process. And these stories would either make you love or hate your name even more.
And then it’s your turn to name your own baby. Choosing a name for your child is one of the most important decisions you have to make for them. To some people, they toil over what to name their newborn and do extensive research while for others, the idea just comes naturally.
There are millions of names to choose from and as a parent, you have to be careful and recognize that their names are probably going to be part of their identity for the rest of their lives, so choose wisely.
And in that case, why not use the name of your favorite flower or plant? The plants around us were carefully named too and some have a delightful ring to them, some are mysterious, while others have a wise appeal derived from the strangest but clever sources.
Here is a list of some beautiful and inspiring names adapted from flowers and botanical terms to help you decide what to name your baby boys and baby girls. We have all the cute, pretty, masculine, feminine and unique flower names you an choose from.
- Name Ideas for Girls
- 1. Acacia
- 2. Alyssa
- 3. Aster
- 4. Anemone
- 5. Azalea
- 6. Belladonna
- 7. Blossom
- 8. Briar
- 9. Camellia
- 10. Canna
- 11. Calanthe
- 12. Cassia
- 13. Crisanta
- 14. Daffodil
- 15. Dahlia
- 16. Daisy
- 17. Erica
- 18. Flora
- 19. Ginger
- 19. Hazel
- 20. Heather
- 21. Holly
- 22. Hyacinth
- 23. Ivy
- 24. Jasmine
- 25. Juniper
- 26. Laurel
- 27. Lavender
- 28. Lilac
- 29. Lily
- 30. Magnolia
- 31. Margaret
- 32. Myrtle
- 33. Marigold
- 34. Olive
- 35. Oryza
- 36. Pea
- 37. Peony
- 38. Pepper
- 39. Petunia
- 40. Poppy
- 41. Primrose
- 42. Rhoda
- 43. Rose
- 44. Rosemary
- 45. Sakura
- 46. Senna
- 47. Sorrel
- 48. Susan
- 49. Terra
- 50. Veronica
- 51. Viola
- 52. Wisteria
- 53. Zinnia
- Name Ideas for Boys
- 54. Abel
- 55. Alder
- 56. Almond
- 57. Anthony
- 58. Ash
- 59. Basil
- 60. Bud
- 61. Clove
- 62. Cosmos
- 63. Coleus
- 64. Corey
- 65. Cypress
- 66. Dandelion
- 67. Elm
- 68. Geranium
- 69. Florentine
- 70. Ficus
- 71. Forrest
- 72. Hawthorn
- 73. Heath
- 74. Huckleberry
- 75. Indigo
- 76. Jonquil
- 77. Kale
- 78. Lupin
- 79. Mallow
- 80. Mandrake
- 81. Moss
- 82. Narcissus
- 83. Oak
- 84. Oleander
- 85. Oliver
- 86. Quercus
- 87. Quill
- 88. Reed
- 89. Saffron
- 90. Shamrock
- 91. Spruce
- 92. Tarragon
- 93. Thyme
- 94. Verben
- 95. Watson
- 96. William
- 97. Yarrow
- 98. Zephyr
Name Ideas for Girls
A rare but stylish name for girls, Acacia is an attractive botanical name which means thorny. It was derived from the plant that produces clusters of small yellow flowers and is an inspiration to the adventurous name givers. Another interesting bit about Acacia which makes it worth-considering as a name is that it symbolizes an enduring and pure soul.
Alyssa is among the top 50 names in the late 1990s. Described as a form of Alicia which means noble one, Alyssa is also a name inspired by the alyssum flower that has white or purple dainty flowers. Other variations are Alissa, Allyssa, Alysa, and Elissa.
People named Alyssa are known to be loving, optimistic, and energetic. Popular figures are actress, Alyssa Milano, and figure skater, Alissa Czisny (1).
Aster is the Greek word for star and is the name of dainty star-shaped flowers from the daisy family. The things the name refers to are magical and charming making it a popular name for baby girls in the 16th to 17th centuries. Although the name is rarely used nowadays, it is still a unique one and is also a fitting name for people born in September as Aster is their birth flower.
Anemone means the daughter of the wind in Greek and is the name of a delicate and beautiful flower that blooms as the wind blows. It is an exotic-sounding name and has only started gaining attention recently. It makes for a distinct name for a baby girl and people named Anemone are said to be dependable and hard-working.
A popular flower in the garden and bouquets, Azalea has also gained popularity as a cute name for girls. The flower got its name from its ability to flourish in dry soil and perhaps its beauty and symbolism is the reason why more unconventional parents are naming their kids, Azalea since the 1990s (2).
People with this name tend to be thrifty which may be associated with the flower’s characteristics.
Belladonna is a poisonous plant that bears charming purple flowers. It literally translates to ‘beautiful lady’ which appeals to parents thus making it a top name for baby girls. The plant’s properties add intrigue to the name and it is fitting for people who want something exotic and mysterious. There are over 9000 people named Belladona as of 2019.
Another botanical word for flowers on an ornamental plant, Blossom is also an affectionate pet name for a young girl (2). Over time, it developed a warm and pleasant appeal that people started to use it to name their babies.
The name became popular in England, especially by the end of the 19th century. Famous personalities named Blossom are American Jazz singer, Blossom Dearie, American theatrical performer, Blossom Seeley, and Powerpuff leader from the Powerpuff Girls animated TV series, Blossom.
Briar botanically refers to a scrambling shrub that has thorns and is prickly but it is also used to name baby girls (1). It seemed unappealing to use as a given name but it probably gained popularity upon its association with Sleeping Beauty’s protagonist, Briar Rose. Other variations of the name include Bryarly, Bryony, and Bryan.
Camellia is the name of a plant that is used in making herbal tea and produces a striking multi-petaled flower popularly used in flower arrangement. The beauty of the flowers is so striking that Camellia began to be used to name babies too.
Derivatives of the name are Camille and Camila, and may also be considered in lieu of Amelia. The flower and the people bearing this name are seen as admirable and perfect.
Canna definitely makes for an exotic name given that it stems from a tropical plant that bears striking vibrantly-colored flowers. It is not a well-known name but is worth considering for adventurous parents. One personality who went by the name was the Welsh saint and nun, Saint Canna. Canna is also the name of one of the Small Isles in Scotland.
In the plant world, Calanthe is a ground orchid that produces a series of sweet-scented flowers. Directly translates to beautiful flowers, it also sounds beautiful as a given name. The flower blooms in winter and is commonly called Christmas orchid so Calanthe could be a fitting name to baby girls born in December.
Cassia refers to a profusely blooming tree with clusters of golden flowers that showers over passers-by when the wind blows. It is a suitable name that has a stylish ring to it and is connotative of a carefree spirit. Other variants of the name are Cassian, Cassius, and Cassidy. Keziah is a biblical name that was derived from Cassia too (3).
Chrysanthemum is a remarkable flower but the name may not inspire as an appellation. Crisanta is an appealing Spanish derivative and has been used to name babies since the 1800s.
Being the symbolic flower of November, Crisanta is a suitable name for babies born in this month. Although not related to the name Christine, common nicknames for Crisanta are Cris, Cristie, and Crissy.
Fun fac: Did you know that chrysanthemum is November’s birth flower?
In the 19th century, Daffodil was a popular name for girls after the well-loved yellow trumpet-like flowers of spring (3). It has not been used as frequently these days so opting for this name today will definitely add uniqueness to the child. Daffodil can be used to name babies born in March as it is the symbolic flower of the month.
Dahlia is a name that connotes confidence and elegance which makes it a delightful given name. It originated from an outstanding flower that was named after the Swedish botanist, Andreas Dahl. Although the name started to be used in the 1800s, it didn’t become popular until the late 2000s.
Daisy or day’s eye is the popular flower that opens its petals as the sun rises. It is also one of the classic and prevalent given names in the 1800s. The name lost its popularity over time but made a comeback in the late 1990s. It is also one of the top names that start with D today.
Daisy has an old-fashioned charm that fits an innocent-looking baby girl and is said to bring freshness and energy (1).
As a given name, Erica may be a feminine form of Eric and it may also be borrowed from the genus of flowering plants otherwise called heath. It is one of the most popular names from the 1800s to the 1900s, especially in Britain.
Popular personalities with this name are Canadian actress, Erica Durance, American novelist and poet, Erica Jong, and American actress Erica Dasher.
No name is as flowery as Flora. It is a Latin word for flower and is the goddess of flowers and spring in Roman mythology (3). It was first used as a given name in Scotland and eventually gained popularity in Britain by the 18th century.
Other forms of the name are Flor, Fleur, and Florence. Famous people who use this name are Brazilian jazz singer, Flora Purim and French-American actress, Flora Cross. Fleur Delacour is the name of one of the characters in the book series, Harry Potter.
Commonly a diminutive of the name Virginia, Ginger was also derived from the aromatic rhizomatous plant used as a spice. The plant origin definitely adds character to the name because of its medicinal and culinary background.
Hazel is an Old English name that was taken from the deciduous tree that produces golden fringed flowers signaling spring. A delightful name from a delightful flower has been popularly used in naming babies since the late 1800s.
This botanical name became more fashionable recently when celebrities such as Julia Roberts and Emily Blunt used it to name their babies. It is also the name of the protagonist in John Green’s bestselling book, The Fault in Our Stars (1).
Heather is one of the top names used in the US from the 70s to the 80s. A movie called Heathers even featured popular girls in school named Heather (1). This name is related to Erica since it is the botanical common name of the plants under the family, Ericaceae.
American actresses, Heather Graham and Locklear, and soccer player, Heather Mitts are some of the famous personalities with this name.
Many people born in December are named Holly since this is the month’s flower and one of the symbols of the Yuletide season (2). The name sounds festive and feminine that it’s no wonder Holly remains a favorite name until today. In the 1960s, Audrey Hepburn’s classic character from the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s further added to the name’s popularity.
Hyacinth is one of those plants that are hard to miss for it provides an instant bouquet of charming flowers with different pleasing colors. It is among the first floral names that were used to name babies in the late 1900s (3). Hyacinth is unique as a given name and is rarely used but worth considering since it symbolizes sincerity and constancy.
The ivy plant is famous for its cascading attractive leaves but it also produces umbrella-shaped yellow flowers. Ivy is not just striking as a plant but as a given name too that many people used it to name their babies, especially in England where it is among the top 200 names for girls. Ivy is an inspiring name to give to babies as it means fidelity and immortality.
The name Jasmine refers to a delightfully-scented flower of Persian origin. The catchy name and the charm of the flower may be one of the reasons why it was adopted in the 19th century (2). Its popularity may also be attributed to the commercialization of the Middle-Eastern folk tale, Aladdin, where the princess is named Jasmine.
Other forms of the name are Jazmin, Yasmin, and Jessamine.
Juniper is an attractive evergreen plant that is highly associated with healing and the bible. It was not a very popular name upon its first use in the 1900s but it was symbolic of love, strength, and protection. These connotations may have influenced its appeal to people that it became more frequently used to name newborn girls.
A versatile name to give baby boys and girls, Laurel originated from the aromatic and symbolic evergreen plant. It means nobility and victory and the leaf from the plant is often associated with the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. Other variants of the name are Laura, Loren, Lorraine, and Lorelei (1). Laurel is one of the top 100 names in Europe.
Lavender is one of the well-received flower names when it was first used during the Victorian era (3). It was taken up from the lavender plant that produces lovely scented purple flowers that are popular as cut flowers too. The meaning associated with the name is graceful, calm, and pure which serves as an inspiration to parents in naming their kids.
Lilac is a purple bouquet of flowers that is pleasing to the eyes and to the ear as a name too. It is rarely used to name babies but its sweet and feminine appeal has been recently catching attention and makes for a unique name for a baby girl. Lilac is a symbol of purity and innocence and people named after the flower tend to be passionate and loving.
This demure and sweet name is the go-to of many parents ever since it was first used in 1880. It was borrowed from the name of a genus that houses different species of delicate and charming flowers commonly used in gardens and flower arrangements. Pure and rebirth is what the name symbolizes. Other forms of Lily are Lillie, Lyla, Lilia, and Lilian (1).
Magnolia started to be used as a given name when the flower’s gained popularity in the Victorian era (3). It is now considered as a vintage name because of its decline in usage but is still a great option for parents who like the old-fashioned and the exotic. Good nicknames and alternatives for Magnolia are Maggie, Nola, Magnus, and Nolie.
The name Margaret was derived from the marguerite flower from the daisy family. This is why it is related to the name, Daisy. It is also related to the name Pearl since it descended from the Persian word for the gem-like bead (3). Famous Margarets in history include Saint Margaret, Queen of Scots, Margaret Barnard, British painter, and Margaret Deland, American author.
Myrtle is a well-loved plant and name. The plant has a significance in the British royal family wherein every royal bride should include myrtle in her bouquet. It is also a symbol of victory in ancient Greece (3).
In the 1900s, the name became popular but died down at the turn of the century. Today, Myrtle is rarely used with only 5 babies being named almost every year in the US.
Marigold is a golden flower sacred to the people of Mexico. The name was adopted in the 19th century, at the peak of flowers’ popularity. The plant is associated with the Virgin Mary and many people who have strong religious beliefs used Marigold as the name of their newborn girls. It is also associated with wealth and courageousness.
Olive is one of the successful names that were derived from plants. It is also one of the few names that start with ‘O’. The plant’s association with ancient tradition, mythology, and religion add beauty and intrigue to the name Olive making it a sought-after name for girls.
It is the name of Shakespeare’s character in Twelfth Night, the love interest of Popeye in the animated series, Popeye the Sailor Man, and Drew Barrymore’s first daughter.
Other derivatives to consider are Olly, Olivia, and Oliver.
Oryza is the formal name of rice. It has a feminine and unusual appeal that will definitely agree with name-givers looking for an interesting and pretty name to give a baby girl. Although still rarely use, it is a popular name in the Eastern parts of the world where they have high regard for their staple food.
Pea is a simple botanical name that quite catches on as a given name. It is simple and can easily be mixed with other feminine names. The name Pea can replace worn-out epithets like Bea, Thea, and Pia.
Peony is a beautiful flower popularly used in special gardens and flower arrangements, and quite expensive as a bridal bouquet. Although rarely used as a given name, Peony is interesting to parents that look into the name’s meaning. It is a symbol of prosperity and honor. This is a good name to consider for November babies since it is the month’s flower.
Pepper may refer to the flowering vine that is the source of a well-loved spice/seasoning or the spicy fruit. Either way, the name is given an exotic but familiar charm because of these plants. It has further gained popularity around the world, especially in the US and UK, upon the release of the movie, Avengers, where one of the characters bears the name.
Petunia is an English name that was obtained from the plant that bears delicate trumpet-shaped flowers. It is a popular name for girls in England for the flowers have such beauty and the name itself has a nice ring to it. However, it is rarely used in other parts of the world due to the negative meaning of the flower such as resentment and anger.
Poppy is also an Old English name that came from a wildflower that produces simple yet striking blossoms. It reached its peak as a given name in the 1920s although, at the time, poppies were associated with the sad events of World War I (3).
Popular personalities named Poppy are British pianist, Poppy Ackyord, Australian actress, Poppy Montgomery, and English photographer, Poppy Villeneuve.
The Latin word for ‘first rose’, Primrose is what the simple wildflowers that bloom in spring are called. It is also among the given names that were popularized in the 1900s and still one of the unique names to use in modern-day. The symbolic flower of February, it is worth considering in naming baby girls. Primrose symbolizes youthfulness and young love.
Rhoda is a diminutive form of Rhododendron which refers to the ornamental plant used in gardens for its spectacular clusters of flowers. It has a biblical association wherein a servant girl named Rhoda was one of the pioneer disciples of Christ. Rhoda is said to mean dangerous so it is perfect for parents who want to give their children’s name uniqueness and spice.
Popularity follows not just the classic flower but the name, Rose as well. It is still one of the top choices in naming newborn girls, from the middle ages to the modern-day. There are many variations of the name including Rosalind, Rosamund, Roselle, and Rosie (2).
Famous Rose personalities are Queen of France, Mary Tudor or Mary Rose, American actress, Rose Byrne, and French singer/songwriter, Rose.
The name borrowed from the famous culinary herb, Rosemary was a popular given name choice throughout the 1900s. It has old-fashioned femininity that easily matches the sweet disposition of girls during the era. Although fewer parents opt to name their kids Rosemary or Rosemarie, it is still considered a timeless epithet.
Sakura is the name of the famous Japanese cherry blossoms. Many parents, both western and eastern, wanted to impart with their kids the beauty of this plant that they named their kids after the tree.
Senna is an Arabic word for ‘brightness’ and refers to a genus of flowering plants. There are a few records of Senna being used as a given name but the simple and unique appeal of the name is what draws name givers to it. Senna and Cassia are related names as they belong to the same plant family.
The name Sorrel is gaining popularity since the late 2000s. It is a distinct name that was taken from a fragrant herb. The name has a feminine and mature appeal and can be used as an alternative to the frequently used names like Roselle, Marielle, and Isabel.
Susan is a name that may have been derived from the biblical story of Susannah or the showy ornamental plant called ‘black-eyed Susan’. It may also be coined to the Hebrews who called the lily flower, ‘Shoshannah’.
Either way, it is a familiar name as it has been around since the 1900s. It sounds charming and simple which still appeals to name givers of today.
Terra means earth and its feminine and familiar sound makes it a perfect name for the lasses. It’s easy to spell and remember too. Other forms of the name to consider are Tarra, Terry, and Tyra.
Another name that’s been popularized by the era of flowers, Veronica remains one of the top options in naming baby girls. Veronica is Latin for ‘true image’ which is in reference to Saint Veronica who wiped Jesus’ face with a cloth that was miraculously imprinted with his image. Veronica also symbolizes purity and fidelity.
Viola means violet and is a popularized named that gives the bearer a fun and quirky charm. It is also influenced by the small pansy-like flowers of the same name. Meanings and symbols associated with the name are innocence, spirituality, and modesty. Violet, Violeta, Yolette, and Jolana are some forms of the name to consider too.
America actress, Viola Davis, ceramics artist, Viola Frey, and English poet, Viola Garvin are few of the famous Violas.
A decent botanical name to borrow, Wisteria has a whimsical ring to it. It refers to the remarkable cascading purple flowers of a pea tree. Few adventurous parents have decided to use it on their baby girls. Definitely a good choice since the name symbolizes long-life, love, and tenderness.
It is also a perfect name for babies born in mid or late spring when the flowers are in bloom too.
Zinnia is a striking flower that looks like a daisy but with more vibrant colors. The same applies to the name as Zinnia sounds more exotic and edgy. It is still making its way to the top list of names for girls but has been drawing attention over the past decade. Some meanings associated with Zinnia are friendship, endurance, and lasting affection.
Name Ideas for Boys
Abel is known as a biblical name but it is also a diminutive form of Abelia, an old-fashioned plant popular for its striking flowers and foliage. It can be abbreviated to a more modern form, Abe (3). Abel was a favorite name for boys in England but eventually lost its popularity. It is Assyrian for ‘son’ so parents can use this if they are looking for a simple but catchy name.
Alder is an ornamental shade tree and the name makes for an interesting given name for a boy. In the Irish Celtic mythology, Alder is symbolic of the balance owing to the fact that an alder tree produces both male and female flowers on the same branch. The name is rarely used today and in 2012, there are only 12 boys named after the tree.
Another ornamental flowering tree that is famous for its stone fruit, Almond is gaining attention as a given name too. It is a variation of the Old English name, Almund and is said to mean noble protection. Other meanings associated with the name is self-productiveness, happiness, and purity. People named after the tree tend to personify these traits.
The name Anthony has different origins but this Roman name is said to be associated with the Greek word for flower. It has been in usage even before the 17th century and continues to be a favorite name for boys around the world.
Ash is a tree that is commonly known for its medicinal properties. The name was adopted in naming boys in England in the 19th century, probably influenced by the well-known philanthropist and social reformer, Anthony Ashley Cooper (2).
In modern times, the popularity of the name may be attributed to the hero of the cartoon, Pokemon. It can also be a short form of the name Ashley which is more common among girls.
Basil may refer to the edible herb and it is a strongly regarded name for it is a direct translation of ‘royal’, Basil is a favorite name for boys since the medieval times. Many religious personas are borne this name such as the bishop of Caesarea, St. Basil the Great, saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Basil the Elder, and French Roman Catholic priest, Basil Hume.
Initially considered a short form of Buddy or Bradford, Bud is also in reference to the young terminal part of a flower that develops into a flower, leaf, or shoot. It is a simple name with one syllable that may not as catchy alone and better paired with either a short or long name.
Actor and designer, Bud Spencer, baseball player, Bud Norris, and flute player, Bud Shank are some of the well-known personalities with this name.
Clove is an Old French name which means nail. Although it has a rather dull translation, the name itself is unique and has a spicy ring to it, especially since it pertains to a tree that produces edible aromatic flower buds. It may also refer to another plant species called Clover which is considered a lucky plant. Clove will definitely set the name-bearer apart from the crowd.
Derived from the Greek word for order and harmony, Cosmos gained popularity as a given name in the 18th century. The lovely flower from which the name was coined has a perfectly arranged and scented petals. People love to be associated with lovely things like this, hence its continuous preference of parents in naming their baby boys.
Coleus is a fresher form of Cole or Julius which was derived from the herbaceous plant that is known for its attractive foliage. Still a rare name for boys, Coleus may gain popularity among avid gardeners, especially since the plant is making a comeback in the ornamental scene.
There is more than one source of the name Corey such as Corra which means spear and Coire which is Gaelic for cauldron. The most interesting source is the plant Corylus, the formal epithet of the hazel tree. Corey is a diminutive form and has been in existence since medieval times. It is commonly used to name boys in Britain and North America (2).
In botany, Cypress refers to the upright coniferous tree that has attractive foliage. The beauty of the plant extends to its botanical name that people in the 19th century started to use it in naming their children. It is among the top names for boys that are associated with ornamental trees. Parents looking for alternatives to Cyrus, Cyrill, or Cyprus may consider this name.
Dandelion as a plant may often be dismissed as a weed but past this popular connotation, one would see the beauty that the flowers bring. The same goes with the name, it may not be popularly used as a given name but it could be a unique option with a bold and fierce association with it.
Dandelion is a French word for ‘lion’s tooth’ and in the language of flowers, it means happiness and faithfulness.
Elm is a rare name for boys but is worth considering for it is modest enough to mix with other formal names and has an inspiring peaceful appeal to it. It is more often used in Europe where people associate the name with life and eternal wisdom. The tree symbolizes peace and unity. Other forms of the name are Elmo, Elma, and Elmer.
Name-givers are still processing the idea of using Geranium as a given name but the exceptional and exotic charm is what attracts attention to it. Not a lot of people are named after this brightly blooming flower so it is bound to stand out. It also helps that positive meaning is linked with Geraniums such as friendship and good health.
The name Florentine has different origins based on different places in the world. It was said to be a variant of Florence from the English reformist, Florence Nightingale, and the Italian city, and also of Flora which is a popular girl’s name. But it may also be obtained from a kind of iris plant that is fragrant and strikingly colored.
Ficus is a known tree peace and abundance and with these representations, Ficus brings with it a charm that works as a given name for boys. The name is first used in the 1800s along with Cyprus, Sorrel, and Elm.
In 1913, the name Forrest ranked 175th in the most popular names and continued to be a favorite epithet for boys. It was derived from the word forest and people tend to think of natural and limitless beauty and strength about the name.
It was used as the name of the protagonist in the book turned movie called Forrest Gump. Although the movie got positive reviews, the name lost its popularity since the fictional movie character was mentally challenged.
Hawthorn may be more popular as a surname but it works as a given name too. It originated from the thorny shrub that bears attractive flowers and berries but the name has a strong masculine appeal that is more often used in naming boys.
Thorne, Thor, and Hawk are diminutive forms of the name. The plant blooms in May so the name may be considered for babies born this month.
Derived from the popular ornamental plant and is a diminutive of Heather in male form, Heath has been a popular name across the globe but mostly in the Western regions. Like the name Heather, it means good luck, protection, and admiration.
Among the famous personalities that bear this name are Australian actor, Heath Ledger, American football player, Heath Evans, and British cartoonist, W. Heath Robinson.
Popularized by the protagonist from the famous book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry was at its height in the 1900s. The name was taken from an evergreen plant that produces edible berries.
In connotation to the titular character, Huckleberry is playful, mischievous, and compassionate. This could be a top choice for parents who want to associate their kids with a literary brilliance.
Indigo is a name that refers to the rainbow color between blue and violet. It is also the common name of a plant that bears eye-catching flowers of this color and is also the source of the blue-purple dye. Indigo can be used to name both boys and girls. Other optional derivations are India, Iñigo, and Indie.
Jonquil is one of the flower names for boys adopted in the 19th century, at the height of flowers’ popularity (3). It is related to Daffodil as it is another common name of the plant and is worth considering for babies born in March, the flower’s best blooming time. In relation to the flower, the name symbolizes friendship and sympathy. Other forms are Jonquille and Jonquilo.
Considered as a masculine form of Kayley, Kale was also borrowed from leafy greens of the cabbage family (2). Kale has an earthy taste that has to settle down with its audience but the name is easy to love. A simple and catchy, even babies wouldn’t say no to. Other variants of the name include Cayl, Kahl, and Kyle.
One of the most interesting names that originated from plants, Lupin is used to name boys since the 1900s. It is a flowering shrub that has stunning upright clusters of flowers and the name means ‘wolf’ owing to the fact that the plant rapidly depletes the nutrients if the soil where it is planted, like a hungry wolf.
Lupin is quite fascinating that many book protagonists are given this name such as Harry Potter’s Remus Lupin and the Japanese manga, Lupin III.
Mallow can easily be an alternative to the names Malone and Malou. It is derived from the group of plants that produces striking big flowers. It is also related to the name, Malvar which is shorter from the plant family, Malvaceae.
Mandrake is a fairly new addition to the list of botanical names for boys but it has an enigmatic charm and sound that people have started to use it. The plant from which the name was borrowed is said to have roots that look like a human body and contains hallucinogenic properties.
Moss is more commonly used as a last name but it is also starting to appeal as a given name for boys the same way that the plant is becoming popular as an indoor plant and decoration. Famous playwright, Robert Hart changed his first name to Moss which instantly gave him a more attractive and catchy epithet. Moss is a good alternative for the more common names like Ross and Moses.
Narcissus is a cousin’s with the name Daffodil as it is the formal name of the plant. Although it may be negatively regarded due to its relation to the word narcissistic, this name is still one of the top names for baby boys. It is definitely a good option for boys who have sisters named Daffodil or those who are born in December.
Oak means strength and resistance, the key characteristics of the tree from which the name was derived. It was first used to name lads in the early 18th century but was rarely used. Today, the name is making a comeback and has been used by many radical and practical parents in the US. Boys named Oak are said to be smart and trustworthy.
Another masculine name derived from a feminine flowering plant, Oleander is a good Mediterranean alternative to Oliver, Olivander, Leandro, and Alexander. It is still gaining momentum as a given name but just like the plant, it will soon be popular especially with meanings like beauty and strength attached to it.
Oliver is a male derivative of Olive and is among the oldest botanical names used in Western countries where the olive tree and fruit are popular. It ranked as the top 3most popular names in Australia in 2011 and still appealing to modern name-givers. Olivers tend to be friendly and have a peaceful demeanor.
Quercus is related to the name Oak in that it is the plant’s scientific name. Although Oak is more common, Quercus is more distinct and it has a formal but magical charm. The long dainty blossoms of the Quercus tree dangle in April so it will make for a fascinating name for baby boys born in this month.
The name Quill may be attributed to the pen-like tool made from a feather but it may also be derived from the beautiful aerial plant called Pink Quill. The name is of Irish origin and is most popular among lads that live in Europe. It is a unique alternative to other one-syllable names like Bill, Jill, and Phil.
Reed is a common surname and preferred name for boys that was introduced in the middle ages. It is an Old English translation for ‘red’ and the botanical term for grass-like plants that grow in wet places. The highest record of people named Reed was recorded in 1995 when it ranked 414th of the top names for boys.
Saffron is a spice derived from the crocus plant and is quirky-sounding that can be used to name boys. There are a few records of people named Saffron, mostly using it just as a stage name. For the unconventional parent, it is a name to consider to give the child an instant fun and one of a kind charm.
The name Shamrock may be a little out there but it is a special name with special meanings too. It was derived from the three-leaved plant that is symbolic of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland. It also stands for faith, hope, and love. Shamrock is a fairly new addition to the list of plant names for babies but it is a masculine name worth-considering in naming boys.
The spruce tree has a remarkable appearance and so is the name too. As a given name, it has not gained much popularity in recent years but is still worth considering in lieu of lad names such as Bruce, Bryce, and Juls. Perhaps it would help to know that the tree is a representation of eternal life, strength, and resilience.
Tarragon is the perfect name for parents who are looking for a medieval-sounding name but with a modern charm. Derived from the fragrant herb, Tarragon is of Latin origin and has recently been used to name baby boys and there are only 9 people named after the herb on record since 2018 in the US.
Spices are definitely some of the unique named plants and Thyme is one to look out for. Like many herbs, thyme has a positive symbolism and is deeply represents triumph and peace. Other forms of the name are Thymus, Tam, and Tayenne.
Obtained from the vervain family of plants, Verben makes a decent masculine name. It may positively be mistaken as a form of Bourbon which is becoming more popularly used by modern name-givers.
Watson is a short form of Watsonia, a flowering ornamental plant popularly used as a garden border. Watson is among the top names for boys in the US and Britain, probably due to the widely known character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective novel series, Stories of Sherlock Holmes. The meanings of innocence and chastity may also have an effect.
Still one of the persistent and favorite names for boys, William has its fair share even just in England alone. The name means a desire to protect and may also be derived from the dianthus plant variety.
There are many Williams in histories such as the playwright, William Shakespeare, software developer and billionaire, William Henry Gates, and Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
Yarrow is a rare botanical name for boys but is among the interesting choices for eccentric name-givers. It came from a flowering plant that blooms in summer. Because of the plant’s medicinal properties, the name was associated with healing. The name Yarrow is related to Achilles as the formal name of the plants was derived from it.
The name Zephyr traces its roots from the Greek god of the west wind Zephyrus as well as the dainty flowering plant, Zephyranthes. It has been gaining attention as a given name for it has a unique gentle but exotic appeal. People who bear this name are associated with sincerity and constancy.
Aloe is a neutral name that can be used in naming both boys and girls. It came from the succulent plant that is used ornamentally and medicinally. Aloe has a soft and pleasant appeal and can be mixed with other short names for a unique baby name. Other variations of the name are Alei, Ali, Aello, and Aila.
Berry may be a form of Barry but it may also refer to the fruit of many shrubs and trees. It is an effective name for boys and girls and has been in usage since the 1800s but is rarely used even today.
Cedar is a coniferous plant known for its fragrant scent and the wood obtained from the tree. Its natural appeal and representation of strength and eternity make it an interesting choice as a given name for both boys and girls. Although more record shows its use as a surname, Cedar is gaining popularity and there are over 100 people with this given name in the last decade.
Botanically referring to the pretty yellow flowers, Celandine also proved worthy to be used as a given name. It has a formal regal charm and uniqueness that would appeal to parents who like mythology and magical associations. People named Celandine are said to be wholesome, have refined manners, and quite nerdy.
An English name derived from Clementine, which is a popular citrus plant, Clem has been used to name girls and boys since the 1900s. The name means gentle and merciful, the demeanor most parents want their kids to have. Other variants of the name are Clementine, Clementina, Clement, and Cleon.
Delphine was derived from the striking flowers that look like dolphins called delphinium. It is a French name that gained popularity in the 1800s at the release of a novel of the same name by the renowned French playwright, Honore de Balzac. This is a good choice as a name for people born in July since delphinium is the month’s flower.
Some may think this one-syllable name will easily drown in a crowd but Fern has a distinct and mysterious sound to it which easily sticks to one’s head. Borrowed from the tropical herbaceous plant that amazes with its foliage, Fern is a versatile name for boys and girls and can be mixed with other complementary names (2).
A good name to consider for both boys and girls, Flax is easy to remember and write and sounds exotic but familiar too. It is borrowed from the perennial ornamental plant that has delicate blue flowers. Flax symbolizes home and people named after the plant are bestowed with kindness and beauty. Flax as a given name is more commonly used in Europe and North America.
Who wouldn’t want to be named after the small plant that produces striking bright blue flowers and the Greek goddess of the rainbow? Iris became a timeless name for girls and boys too and is still in popular use today. The three petal segments of the flower symbolize faith, wisdom, and valor and these traits are said to be carried by the people named after the plant.
Most people would relate the name Jade to the precious stone of March but it also refers to the flowering succulent often used as an indoor plant (2). The name became prominent in the 1990s as a name for boys and girls. Jade is a symbol of energy and prosperity. It is the name of Mick Jagger’s daughter and the famous Jade Esteban Estrada is one of the celebrities who bear this name.
There are various origins of the name Ren and among these is its derivation from the plant Renanthera which is a kind of orchid. It can also be the Japanese term for water lily. Ren is quite popular in both Eastern and Western countries and is considered a neutral name. Like most single-syllable names, Ren can stand on its own or be paired with another name. Bearers of this name are said to be graceful and pure.
Rue is an old-fashioned name for boys and girls and was derived from the herbaceous medicinal plant. The name is archaic for regret but there are other attributes to the name which make it considered as a given name. Rue has a French appeal and is associated with healing as well because of the original plant.
Sage is a unisex name that came from another culinary herb. It symbolizes esteem and intelligence which makes it an attractive given name. Many babies in the early 1990s were named Sage but the popularity declined over time. Since Sage directly translates to ‘wise’, people with this name are highly regarded and considered to have profound wisdom.
(1) Wattenberg, L. “The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for your Baby.” Potter. 2013. P. 544.
(2) Hanks, P. and Hardcastle, K. “An A to Z of Baby Names.” OUP Oxford. 2013. P. 416.
(3) Pickering, D. “The Penguin Pocket Dictionary of Babies’ Names.” Penguin UK. 2005. P. 304.
* Photo by FamVeldman – Depositphotos