Top 20 Nature Names, Ranked

Top 20 Nature Names, Ranked

The top nature names for babies include names drawn from plants and trees as well as from animals, from water as well as the sky, names with an obvious connection to nature along with those whose connection to nature is more subtle.

We’re saying that these popular nature names include choices to suit a wide range of name hunters. Here are the top 20 nature names on Nameberry right now, ranked by popularity.

20. Willow

The willow tree is not only a symbol of grace, but it’s thought to have magical powers. In the Top 50 throughout the English-speaking world, Willow was a boys’ name in the eponymous 1980s movie but in the contemporary US, it’s used more than 99% of the time for girls.

19. River

This water-related name is getting more popular for both girls and boys, though the balance is about 65% male. Several celebrities have named their babies River, including Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, whose late brother made the name famous.

18. Rose

Rose is one of the OG nature names, whose popularity peaked a century ago. Rose has been a go-to middle name in more recent years, but it’s also making a quiet comeback as a first. Scarlett Johansson used it for her daughter.

17. Juniper

Juniper has been one of the viral hit names of the past decade, going from obscurity to the Top 200 in the US for girls. Juniper berries are used to make gin, and juniper has a wide range of literary and historic associations.

16. Poppy

This British favorite is gaining traction in the US as well. Because it literally means “red flower” and is used inconnection with Remembrance Day, it’s traditionally used for redheads and November babies.

15. Wren

This sweet little bird name has been a sleeper hit of the past decade for girls and occasionally boys. A recent favorite middle name, Wren was believed by the Druids to have magical powers.

14. Clementine

Another British hit recently discovered by Americans, Clementine might be considered a fruit name. But Clementine and the original male Clement were names first, meaning mild and merciful.

13. Daphne

Daphne’s current popularity owes more to TV’s Bridgerton than to its nature roots. The mythical Daphne was a nymph who was transformed into a laurel tree.

12. Caspian

This dashing name is best-known as the name of the hero prince in the Chronicles of Narnia. But it’s also the name of a sea between Europe and Asia, so could make an interesting cross-cultural name for parents looking to blend roots on both continents.

11. Oliver

Oliver may be one of the most traditional and buttoned-up boys’ names around, but its roots are in the natural world: it means “olive tree”. It’s a name that’s enjoying widespread international popularity.

10. Ivy

Ivy is an old-fashioned plant name put under the spotlight when Beyonce and Jay-Z chose it as the middle name for their daughter Blue. In their case, the name Ivy is drawn from the letters IV, the Roman symbol for four, the couple’s lucky number.

9. Aurora

Aurora is one of the names from Roman mythology so popular now. She is the goddess of the dawn, so this can be a great name for a baby born at sunrise..

8. August

August has been chosen for their sons byseveral celebrities recently, and it may be headed back to the Top 100, where it ranked in the 19th century. This lush month name references all the natural aspects of August, from sunny skies to warm beaches to lush flowers and trees.

7. Violet

The old-fashioned Violet got a big boost when Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck chose it for their now-teenage daughter. From Greek mythology, violets symbolize modesty.

6. Hazel

Like Violet, Hazel is both a botanical name and a color name, referencing the brownish-green eye color. The hazelnut tree was historically the source of wood for wands, conferring protection and authority.

5. Rowan

The red-berried rowan tree, found in Scotland, is traditionally thought to ward off witches. A popular gender-neutral name, Rowan is given in the US to about three boys for every girl.

4. Iris

Iris is another gently old-fashioned flower name that became an unlikely hit after being chosen by a celebrity, in thiscase Jude Law. But besides the flower, Iris has another nature-based connection: Iris was the goddess of the rainbow.

3. Finn

The Irish mythological name Finn has a nature meaning that may not be obvious at first. A fish’s fin, get it? It may be a stretch, but it’s one of the few names with a nature association for pescaphiles.

2. Kai

Kai, rhyming with eye, is a multicultural name used in the US about 90 percent of the time for boys. Its best-known origin and meaning identifies it as a Hawaiian name meaning sea, but it’s also the name of the child hero of the fairy tale The Snow Queen.


Luna, the ultimate moon goddess name, ranks Number 1 among Nameberry’s nature names today. Simple but not boring, new but not invented, Luna is the Latin word for moon.

Main image by Robert Collins at Unsplash

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.