By Linda Rosenkrantz
For more than a hundred years, parents have loved the sweet aura of floral names. At the turn of the last century, there was a sudden surge of little girls named Daisy, Rose, Lily, Violet and Ivy—names that still retain their freshness today.
But now this list has expanded to include a lot more exotic blooms, so I thought we’d do an alphabetical rundown of the most usable flower names and where they stand today.
Acacia— A shrub in the mimosa family that in Greek mythology symbolized immortality, Acacia has yet to rank on the national list, but has reached Number 285 on Nameberry. And it’s right on trend with its A beginning and end.
Amaryllis—A name associated with pastoral beauties in ancient Greek poetry, the rarely heard Amaryllis was the name of the sister of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, was heard in the musical The Music Man, and would make an intriguing choice. Prophetic Berries have pushed it to Number 390.
Aster—When comedian Gilbert Gottfried named his daughter Lily Aster in 2007, I thought he might be on to something, but the name has not caught on—except at Nameberry, where’s it’s #377. Spelling it Astor adds an element of affluence.
Azalea –Azalea, with its hard-edged Z sound, is definitely an up-and-comer. After entering the Social Security list in 2012, it has risen rapidly to 581 (262 on NB), possibly influenced by musician Iggy Azalea.
Bluebell—It sounded really out there when Spice Girl Geri Halliwell called her daughter Bluebell Madonna, but not quite so much anymore—though probably still better as a middle. It made England’s Top 1000 in 2014
Clover—The liveliest sprout in the wildflower patch is a current celebrity fave.
Fuschia—A twofer—a flower and a color name. Sting used it for his daughter in the 80s, though she sometimes goes by middle name Kate. Tricky spelling could be a prob.
Gardenia–A fragrant name that embraces the whole garden, has a faint film noir feel.
Hyacinth—A truly exotic Greek mythological and saint name as well as a distinctive floral appellation, Hyacinth has been heard more in fiction than real life. It’s Jacinta in Spanish, Giacinta in Italian.
Lily—There were more than 6600 little Lilys born last year; it has been a Top 30 name since 2007.
Magnolia—This rich Southern belle of a flower name was in full bloom in the early 1900s, went into hibernation, and is now beginning to bloom again—it’s 326 on NB!
Pansy—This name was not unusual until around 1950, when its use as a derogatory slang term eradicated it from the name rolls. With the slur pretty much verboten, it might come back. Pansy Parkinson is a Harry Potter character.
Rose—The quintessential flower name has lately been moving from middle place back into first.
Tulip—When eccentric singer Tiny (“Tiptoe Through the Tulips”) Tim used this name for his daughter years ago, it was seen as a joke, but became more plausible when Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used it as a middle for one of their twins.
Violet—Since being chosen by the Afflecks in 2005, this sweet, soft, sentimental name has zoomed up the charts—now in the Top 50 nationally, in the NB Top 20.