Flower Names for Boys Are Blooming
Flower names for boys are a rare but beautiful bunch – a subset of the fashionable group of floral baby names which have proved particularly popular for girls in recent years.
Popular nature names for boys include tree names like Rowan and Oakley, wild animal names like Fox and Wolf, and water-related names like River and Brooks. But boys’ names with floral meanings have never caught on in the US as the likes of Lily and Violet have for girls.
However, that’s not the case everywhere!
In mainland Europe, Florian has enjoyed a long spell as one of the top boys’ names of the last few decades, making the Top 10 in Austria, Germany and France at least. In the Netherlands, botanical Senna is rising fast: up 186 places over the past two years. And in Japan, Ren is one of the most popular boys’ names of the moment.
18 Flower Names for Boys
Aletris: A medicinal plant also known as “unicorn root” because of the horn-like appearance of its long stems of white flowers. Aletris shares its fashionable Al– beginning with popular picks like Alexander and Alexis.
Calix: A botanical term for the cup of a flower (properly spelled calyx), Calix has seen a surprising surge of popularity as a baby name recently. Cool nickname Cal and the spiky X ending no doubt add to its appeal.
Hawthorn: More than three times as many babies were given the E ending version in 2018 (perhaps as a tribute to author Nathaniel Hawthorne), but this prickly nature name has a rugged charm of its own.
Heath: The name of a family of flowering shrubs, most famously borne by Australian actor Heath Ledger. His first and last name both saw a big rise after his tragic death in 2008, but Heath remains an uncommon choice at #936 in 2018.
Florian: A classic in mainland Europe, Florian ultimately derives from the Latin flos, meaning “flower”. Other masculine names from the same root include Italian Fiore, French Florent, and Romanian Florin.
Lupin: Most familiar as the surname of werewolf Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter books. Fittingly, it means “wolf-like” – a reference to the tendency of lupine flowers to guzzle nutrients from the soil.
Oleander: Sharing sounds with popular classics Oliver and Alexander, it’s somewhat surprising that Oleander has never made it onto the SSA baby names list. We think it’s a unique and appealing choice.
Ren: Meaning “water lily”, Ren is both one of the most familiar Japanese boy names in the US and one of the most popular in its home country. Its simple, sleek, international appeal makes it a Nameberry favourite – at #249 for the first half of 2020.
Senna: Rising fast in the Netherlands, but still virtually unused elsewhere, Senna is the name of a genus of flowering plants in the legume family. Perhaps more importantly for its baby name potential, it’s the surname of Brazilian F1 legend Ayrton Senna.
Sorrel: An edible herb with reddish purple flowers, which also lends its name informally to other flowering plants. Sorrel is in rare but regular use for girls in England and Wales, with 13 births in 2018, but would work just as well for a boy.
Yarrow: O-ending names are on trend right now, but here’s one you don’t hear often. Yarrow has sprays of tiny white or yellow flowers, and is said to have been used by Achilles to heal his soldiers’ wounds during the Trojan War.
Zephyr: Another mythological pick: Zephyr lilies are so called because they produce flowers only after heavy rainfall, which is associated with the Greek god of the west wind. Zephyr remains outside the Top 1000 for now, but it’s rising fast for both sexes.
Which is your favorite of these flower names for boys? Are there any other floral boy names you’d suggest? Tell us below!
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on August 17th, 2020 at 9:00 am
Florian, Hawthorn and Zephyr are some of my favorites! 😊
Emma Waterhouse Said
on August 17th, 2020 at 9:02 am
I have a real soft spot for Florian too!
on August 17th, 2020 at 10:16 am
I love Oleander, Florian, Garland, and Hawthorn
on August 17th, 2020 at 2:48 pm
I love Hawthorn and Garland! Calix is cool too. Unfortunately, as a kid I first learned about the flower oleander because of a very sad news story—I can’t shake the poisonous association. Too bad, because I love the sound!
on August 17th, 2020 at 2:50 pm
(I should clarify—it’s probably urban legend, but since that was my very first encounter with the flower, the association stuck!)
on August 17th, 2020 at 3:05 pm
Awesome list! I love Calix and Hawthorn
on August 17th, 2020 at 3:16 pm
I have loved Florian for years!
An alternative to Oleander might be Leander… it’s not quite a literal flower name, but it does bring it to mind. Leander was one of my favourite names before my boy was born, but it was nixed by my husband because he said it sounded like both Oleander and Lavender.
Leland (from meadowland)
Hollis (from holly)
on August 17th, 2020 at 4:41 pm
I don’t understand why Oleander is so liked on nb. It’s a well-known poison!!
on August 18th, 2020 at 12:52 am
I agree with above comments about Oleander. In the Southwest it’s very commonly known as a poison and results in a lot of sad stories about pet deaths. Our local zoo actually lost a giraffe because a well-meaning but ill-informed zookeeper fed the giraffe oleander leaves. It was awful.
on August 18th, 2020 at 8:07 pm
My youngest son’s middle name is Fiorello, which means “little flower.”
Emma Waterhouse Said
on August 19th, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Fiorello is beautiful!
on August 19th, 2020 at 4:00 pm
I love the idea of Larkspur on a boy.
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