Flower Names: A floral bouquet of names for girls

As we warm to the pleasant days of Spring, we take our annual stroll down the garden path and offer our current  thoughts on flower names for girls.

Still leading in popularity are Lilyand Daisy, with  Rose  remaining a  middle name of choice, though its bloom may be fading a bit due to over exposure.  In general,  flower names for girls,  a craze first seen in the early 1900s, is still one the most fashionable groups around in the early 21st century.

Nameberry includes a wide range of flower names for girls, from garden variety to hothouse blooms. Here, a rundown of the choicest:

THE TRENDIEST

DAISY — Charming and simple, Daisy started off as a nickname for Margaret, now more popular than the original.

IRIS — Former dowdy old lady name revived when Jude Law and Sadie Frost chose it for their daughter.

JASMINE — The most exotic of the popular flower names, with many spelling variations: Jazmin, Jazzmyn et al.  Related: Yasmine and cousins, along with the lovely British favorite Jessamine or Jessamyn, actually French for jasmine.

LILY — Also stylish as Liliana, Lilia, and in France, Lilou, with Lillian starting to be revived.

ROSE — Still an epidemically popular middle name, with many variations — from Rosa to Rosalie to Rosemary — that would make lovely first names.

VIOLET — The daughter of celebrities Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck brought this lush flower choice before the public eye, and it’s rapidly becoming a favorite.  In France, Violette is chic, while in Italian it’s Violetta.

BRITISH BLOOMS

The British are famous gardeners and have long been more hospitable to flower names than Americans.  Here, some heard most often in the British Isles.

BRYONY — Name of a vine with green flowers, also spelled Briony, popular in England and rarely heard elsewhere.

DAHLIA – One of the rarer British-inflected flower name that has never caught on in the US.

CLOVER – Cute aned catchy

FLORA — Vintage name with considerable charm.

IVY — Starting to emigrate to the U.S., possibly because of its stylish initial “I.”

MARIGOLD — Posh British choice starting to be considered by cutting-edge baby namers.

PANSY — Adorable  yet the teasing possibilities render this one an unlikely choice.

PETUNIA — Outside of the U.K., only heard in cow fields or early Disney cartoons.

POPPY — Popular in Britain and beginning to be heard elsewhere too; a perfect companion for Daisy.

PRIMROSE — Prim and dainty yet offbeat, the quintessential British name.

EXOTIC FLOWERS

AMARYLLIS — The flower may be similar to a lily, but the name is considerably more offbeat.

ASTER — The little girl on TV’s “Dexter” has this name, which could become more popular with the rise of the whole flower genre.

AZALEA — The z will definitely keep it exotic, but it’s showing up on more peoples’ lists of possibilities.

CALLA — Another lily relative, also similar to the trendy Callie/Kaylee family of names.

CAMELIA – A pretty name that could catch on due to the popularity of Amelia.

DAHLIA — This one seems to be percolating and we expect to hear more.

LILAC — The two l’s, the similarity to Lily, and the beautiful color and scent of the original flower make this choice a winner.

LOTUS — Only for the most intrepid baby namer.

ORCHID — Another hothouse bloom not for the shy.

PANSY — Adorable  yet the teasing possibilities render this one an unlikely choice

TULIPRebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used this as a middle name for one of their twins, and singer Tiny Tim picked it as a first several  decades ago.  An everyday flower that makes a less-than-ordinary name.

ZINNIA — Any z name is off the beaten track; this one has definite possibilities.

FLOWER NAMES THAT DON‘T SOUND LIKE FLOWER NAMES

AZAMI — Japanese for “thistle flower.”

FLEUR — International words for “flower,” which also include Flor and Fiorello/Fiorella, make inventive flower choices.

GELSEY — Persian for “flower,” a balletic choice.

IOLANTHE — Greek for “violet flower” — for those who want to make Violet a lot more exotic.

JACINTA — Spanish for hyacinth and more suited to use as a name.

LEILANI — Hawaiian name that means ‘heavenly flower” and also has stylish double L sound.

MARGUERITE — The French for daisy is newly chic there, as is Capucine, which means nasturtium in France.

SUSANNA — Comes from the Hebrew Shoshanna, which means lily, and is definitely ripe for revival.

ZAHARA — A Hebrew name meaning flower popularized when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt chose it for their daughter

And some generics: BLOSSOM, PETAL and POSY.

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26 Responses to “Flower Names: A floral bouquet of names for girls”

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Bernadette Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 4:31 am

I have a nearly 4 month old daughter who I named Lilac. Most people think of the colour rather then the flower when they hear her name though.

PDXLibrarian Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Did you mean for Dahlia and Pansy to be listed twice?

Sarah Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 8:20 am

I read somewhere that while Gone with the Wind was being written Margaret Mitchell called her Pansy. Had there not been a last minute swap for Scarlett, I wonder if Pansy would have been more widely used/ Acceptable today.

UrbanAngel Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 8:27 am

What about Callia like a Callia Lily?

How exactly did Daisy become a nickname for names like Maragaret/Margueritte? This has always confused me.

JNE Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 9:31 am

I have a huge soft spot for floral/botanical names. My daughter’s middle is Lily (a fn choice we had picked out some 12 years ago, but decided to relegate to the middle due to its popularity, especially in our area where we know many). Had my son been a girl our two top choices had Ivy and Fern as mns. I adore Zinnia and Azalea too. Petal is another that has grown on me.

I even like some tree names (Daphne is wonderful, plus Linden and Birch, for a boy).

One of my favorite tree/bushes with flowers is a crepe myrtle, but I just can’t get into Myrtle as a name… likewise, I love tulips, but not as a name. Magnolia is a beautiful floral too, and although it’s not for me personally, I think it would make a gorgeous name, especially for a southerner. There are just so many beautiful names to choose from in the world of plants… even my son’s name, Oliver, has a link to the botanical. I think it’s one of my favorite types of names.

luckymomma Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 10:35 am

My daughter’s preschool has both an Ivy and a Clover (in California). Do you know the Kevin Henkes’ children’s book called Chrysanthemum? It’s about a mouse girl who begins to dislike her somewhat unruly flower name. (And try saying “chrysanthemum” multiple times per page!)

FairMaiden Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Don’t forget the lovely Linnea and Sakura; they’re two of my favorites anyway 🙂

British American Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

We own ‘Chrysanthemum’. 🙂 The music teacher in the book is named Delphinium. I feel a little weird when I read it to my daughter Rose, when the other girls make fun of Chrysanthemum for being named after a flower. But it does have a happy ending. 😀

Lily was the only name that both my husband and I really liked, back in 2005. I was worried about it’s increasing popularity though – and we ended up calling our daughter Rose instead. Not specifically trying to continue along the floral theme, but that’s how it worked out.

The one down side of Rose being so popular as a middle name is that parents will call out “Abigail Rose!” or “Natalie Rose” or “Ruby Rose!” when their child is being naughty and so my Rose turns her head, as it sounds like her friend’s Mom is telling her off. 😛

From this list know a 2-year-old Lily, an almost-5-year-old Azaylia, a 3-year-old Flora, a 30-year-old Dahlia and a 30ish Posy. The flower names that are my age are British.

Charlotte Vera Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I considered putting Iolanthe at the top of my list should we have another daughter, but then I decided I didn’t want to be trapped into flower-related names (our daughter’s Roseanna).

A woman on my birthboard named her daughter Lotus. The name’s now indelibly connected in my mind to her birth story (the mother in question — a first-time-mum — decided to have an unassisted home birth. Thankfully, after six hours [!] of pushing she finally smartened up and let her husband rush her to a hospital. The doctors there quickly delivered her baby, who had been in danger of asphyxiation due to the umbilical cord being wrapped repeatedly around its neck. Moral of the story: if neither you nor your husband know what you’re doing, at the very least get a midwife!).

Dahlia of course reminds me of Bertie Wooster’s good and deserving aunt — she of the red face and loud hunting voice. Zinnia makes me think of the less-than-pleasant mother from Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

Bella Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Love the blog!

Love the choices!

Azailia

Jessamine

Zinnia

Bryony

Leilani

Marigold

Kate Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

I think Marguerite may be a French version of Daisy. Pâquerette refers to the flower and Marguerite refers to the name.

babynamesrule Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

This was so cute! I was wondering when Aster would be added to the site. Lilou is adorable, too.

Siobhan Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Love the name Bryony. I almost named my daughter that, friends and family were *really* negative about the name. I went with Juniper instead.

Smismar Says:

April 12th, 2010 at 11:37 pm

One of my favorites that I rarely see is the Czech name Fiala that means violet. So many on this list are great!

Christina Fonseca Says:

April 13th, 2010 at 4:08 am

Xochitl is a Nahuatl (Aztec) name meaning “flower”

Tara Says:

April 13th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I have a huge list of flower/plant names that I found in my mom’s gardening book and from a blog called Namely Lucy:

Celastrus
Tilia
Cerinthe
Cleome
Abele/Abelia
Alisma
Aralia
Aubrieta
Aurinia
Idesia
Juniper**a tree name, I know, but I still love it!
Lunaria
Marsilea
Matthiola
Melica
Nerine
Robinia
Roseraie
Cristata

Donna Says:

April 22nd, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Went to school with a girl named Japonica which I thinks is the best flower name ever

namefreak Says:

April 26th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I would add “Jonquil” to the list!

Sue Says:

April 26th, 2010 at 10:07 pm

How has Heather been left off of this list?

wanda Says:

April 27th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I have been all over every name list that there is on the net and still havent came up with a beautiful name yet. I am saying this cause at my age, this will be my only child, and I want a girl really bad. So a few months ago my husband and decided on a birth month stone and a flower. But I dont like Iris as a name really, and he was born in feb. Me and june, the only name on there besides daisy and lili that I like is Violet and Rose. So I might just call her that, Violet Rose.

Sunshinetina Says:

May 24th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I LOVE the name Amaryllis. But because of how we name our children, it will never be a first name.

phoej Says:

June 2nd, 2010 at 11:49 pm

nice names! 😀

Tori Says:

August 8th, 2010 at 6:30 am

I adore flower names.
I love the name Rose which has been a favourite of mine for a long while now along with the Rose variants Rosemary, Rosaline, Rosalind, Rosalie etc I also love Lily and it’s variants too. In England Bryony has become increasingly less popular and I personally can’t see it’s appeal but most those names are beautiful. I also like Violet however for me it does have the association of violent. I also love Primrose however nobody seems to share my joy in the name. I think nature is a great source for names especially flowers so thanks for the blog.

Stacey Says:

October 11th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Laurel needs to be added.

Maya Says:

December 19th, 2010 at 7:16 am

Lily is the nice one, beside I like Lily flowers very much but seems too many girls named Lily here make it not unique name again for my future daughter
but thanks anyway for cool baby names, Regards, Maya at http://forblossom.co.nz

Natalie Says:

December 30th, 2010 at 1:40 am

I absolutely LOVE flower names! However, the only one’s I’d consider naming my future daughters are Violet, Lily, Iris, Lily-Rose, Briar Rose, and Ivy. But I also love Jessamine, Rosalie, Clover, Fleur, Leilani, Liliana, Aster, Flora, Bryony, Dahlia, Laurel, and Lilac. Fern’s rather cute, too. I also absolutely love Daisy, but I’m not sure if I’d name my daughter that or not.

I love Leilani, but I know a Leilani I don’t particularly like and she’s pretty much ruined the name for me.

Lilac’s been growing on me recently. I used to dislike it because all I heard was “I lack” but I’m starting to think it’s cute.

I love “Rose” names: Lily-Rose (like Johnny Depp’s daughter – I find this lovely), Briar Rose (the name of Sleeping Beauty in the Grimm fairy tale and the Disney movie), Rosalind, Rosamund, Rosaline, and Rosalina. I’m on the fence about Rose by itself, however. I’ve really started to find Eglantine, which means “sweet brier (rose)”, eventhough everyone else says it names them think of an egglant. I don’t get the same connection – Eglantine makes me think of a fairy tale or old fashioned farm girls or something – but I can see why someone would say that.

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