Unique Nature Names
Unique nature names marry two of the most influential baby naming trends of recent years: rare, uncommon, and unique names along with names drawn from the natural world.
Some nature names for babies are mainstream, like Lily and River. But if you're willing to explore nature a bit more adventurously, there are many more wonderful nature names for girls and boys that lie off the beaten track, such as Lilac and Ridge. All of the unique nature names on this list rank outside of the US Top 1000, so your son or daughter is unlikely to meet another child with his or her name. Unique nature names beloved by Nameberry users include Basil, Cassia, Dove, Linnea, Marigold, Oak, Pepper, and Prairie. Unusual nature names can come from flowers and trees, birds and animals, the sea and the earth and even the skies. Here, browse some of the most unique names drawn from nature. Unique Nature Names
Origin:Latin tree name
Description:Juniper is a fresh-feeling nature name -- it's a small evergreen shrub -- with lots of energy. A new favorite of fashionable parents, Juniper joins such other tree and shrub names as Hazel, Acacia, and Willow.
Description:Bear has suddenly lumbered onto the baby name landscape. Perhaps inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael), first celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used it as the middle name for his boy Buddy, and more recently Alicia Silverstone called her son Bear Blu., followed by Kate Winslet's Bear Blaize. It's part of a current trend normalizing once aggressive animal names like Wolf and Fox. Bear is now Number 218 on Nameberry and in the Top 900 in England.
Description:Wren may not be as time-honored a bird name choice as Robin or even Lark, but it's more fashionable. Given to just a handful of children a decade ago, in 2020 there were 850 girls and 150 boys in the US given this cool and quirky name.
Origin:Flower name, from English
Description:Marigold, once found almost exclusively in English novels and aristocratic nurseries, is beginning to be talked about and considered here. It has a sweet, sunny, quirky feel. The marigold was the symbol of the Virgin Mary.
Origin:Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
Description:Cassia is related to the cassia tree, which has yellow flowers and produces a spice that can be a substitute for cinnamon. Keziah, the name of Job’s daughter in the Old Testament, derives from the name of the plant as well. Cassia also has ties to the Ancient Roman name Cassius, an Ancient Roman family name meaning "hollow."
Origin:English flower name
Description:A quaint and quirky flower name, until recently considered a bit too prim for most American classrooms but brought back to life in recent years by the attractive character of Primrose "Prim" Everdeen in the Hunger Games series. In the Top 300 girl names in England and Wales and on Nameberry, Primrose remains rare in the US, but is made more accessible by a raft of sweet nickname options, including Rosie and Posy.
Description:If you love both unique baby names and flower names for girls, Amaryllis might be a perfect choice for you. A showier flower name than Lily, but in the same botanical family, Amaryllis is not as outre as it might at first sound. It was used in Greek poetry as the appellation of pure pastoral beauties; Amaryllis is the heroine of Virgil's epic poem Ecologues, after whom the flower was named. Other references are characters in the George Bernard Shaw play Back to Methuselah and The Music Man. James Bond-creator Ian Fleming had a half sister named Amaryllis Marie-Louise Fleming, who was a noted British cellist.
Meaning:"flower and color name"
Description:Lavender lags far behind sweet-smelling purple-hued sister names Violet and Lilac, but is starting to get some enthusiastic attention from cutting-edge namers. It does have a history as a name, going back to the eighteenth century, when it was also used for boys. But its recent attention comes from Lavender Brown, a witch character in the Harry Potter saga – though Lavender had also been previously featured as a best friend character in Roald Dahl's Matilda.
Meaning:"azalea, a flower"
Description:Azalea is one of the fresher flower names, along with Zinnia and Lilac, that are new to the name bouquet — in fact, it entered the Social Security list for the first time in 2012. So if Lily and Rose are too tame for you, consider this brilliant pink springtime blossom with a touch of the unusual that has been growing in popularity.
Description:Although Greek in origin--in the fourth century, a bishop by that name established the principles of the Greek Orthodox Church--Basil for years took on the aura of aquiline-nosed upper-class Britishness of Sherlock Holmes portrayer Basil Rathbone, then spiced with the fragrant aroma of the herb that entered with the Pesto generation.
Description:Peregrine is considered to be an elegantly aristocratic name in England, but has never made it to the U.S., where it has been seen as extravagantly eccentric. In the new naming climate, though, it's not beyond consideration — in fact it's already been chosen by at least one Berry.
Origin:English, from Persian
Meaning:"bluish or lilac"
Description:Could Lilac be the next Lila or Lily or Violet? It certainly has a lot going for it--those lilting double 'l's, the fabulous fragrance it exudes, and the fact that it's a color name as well, providing a ready made nursery theme. In addition, the lilac is symbolic of first love.
Origin:English and French from Latin tree name
Description:Cedar is, like Ash, Oak, Pine and Ebony, one of the new tree/wood names that parents are starting to consider; this one is particularly aromatic.
Description:Acacia is an attractive, rarely used Greek flower name enhanced by its popular beginning-and-ending-with 'a'-construct, and is gradually beginning to catch on as a new member of the stylish girl names starting with A.
Meaning:"descendant of Moses"
Description:This evocative green nature name, heard much more frequently as a surname, is associated with playwright Moss Hart (born Robert), who co-wrote (with George S. Kaufman) such enduring Broadway comedies as The Man Who Came to Dinner and You Can't Take it With You.
Meaning:"dove, a bird"
Description:One of the new bird names, like Lark and Wren, this one's associated with the billing and cooing sounds of love. Soft and gentle, Dove also has the admirable association with peace.
Description:Asteria is an Anglicized spelling of the Greek Astraea or Astraia, the goddess of justice and innocence. She became the constellation Virgo, so all forms of this name would be especially appropriate for a child born in late August or early September.
Origin:Latin flower name
Description:Bryony is an unusually strong plant name --the bryony is a wild climbing vine with green flowers --that caught on in the U.K. before sprouting here. The name of the young character in the Ian McEwan novel Atonement is spelled Briony, which is the variation and Bryony the original.
Description:Now that parents have picked virtually every name in the garden, from the common Rose to the captivating Zinnia, some are reconsidering the old, more generic names like Flora and Posy and Blossom — which was last in favor in the 1920s and still has a Floradora showgirl aura.
Meaning:"twinflower, lime tree"
Description:Linnea is an attractive Scandinavian name that derives from the renowned 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the Linnean system of classifying plants and animals.
Origin:Scottish from French
Description:Though TV's "Frasier" made the name famous, and Frazier is a well-used variation, Fraser is the original, used mostly in Scotland.
Origin:English tree name
Meaning:"tree from the genus Quercus"
Description:Oak, a symbol of solidity, strength, and longevity, is joining Cedar and Pine as a viable name, one that would work especially well in the middle.
Origin:English tree name from Latin
Meaning:"piece of cloth"
Description:If Apple and Juniper, Oak and Pine can be baby names, why not Maple? Why not indeed. We've heard Maple starting to be used quietly, but with its lush sound and attractive image, we predict its use as a first name will grow — and its choice by the Jason Batemans — who combined it with the sweet middle name Sylvie — will only accelerate that growth.
Meaning:"born near outcrop of flint"
Description:Flint is one of the new macho names on the rise today, part old-school tough guy, part rebel. You won't find a tougher, steelier-sounding name; it's part of a genre on the rise along with cousins Slate, Stone and Steel.
Description:Spice names are increasingly appealing to the senses of prospective parents; this one, belonging to a precious spice derived from the crocus has a vaguely orange-scented-incense sixties feel.
Origin:English word name
Description:There's definitely a cold front of names for winter babies moving in, with Summer, Spring and Autumn giving way to Winter--plus North, January, Frost--and Snow. This name feels brisk, fresh, pure, evocative -- and magical. A haunting middle name choice.
Origin:Irish, diminutive of Quillan or Quiller; also English word name
Description:Quill is a unique possibility for the child of writers -- even if they do use computers rather than pens; could also serve as a rhyming tribute to an ancestor named Gil, Phil, or Bill (or Jill).
Origin:Flower name, from German surname
Description:Zinnia is an unusual floral choice with a bit more edge and energy than most and beginning to find its way onto namers' wish lists of botanical possibilities. Named after an eighteenth German botanist called Johann Gottfried Zinn, it appears in Roald Dahl's Matilda as the young protagonist's mother.
Description:One of the fierce new animal names new to name lists, helped by its strong x-ending.
Origin:Flower name, from Greek
Meaning:"blue larkspur; precious stone"
Description:Though it may not be as sweet and gentle as, say, Violet, the purple-hued Hyacinth still might hold some appeal for the parent seeking a truly unusual flower name.
Description:Windswept and dramatic, but perhaps asking for trouble. Quite popular in Denmark and Sweden, where it derives from Stromr, which is a fairly common surname. Storm Thorgerson is a famous bearer of the name - he designed iconic album covers for Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, the Cranberries, Anthrax, and Pink Floyd.
Origin:English word and nature name
Description:It feels like Finch should be a modern bird name that's as popular as Wren or Lark, but that's not the case - so it's one to consider if you're looking for a nature name that's familiar but rare. These colorful birds have made big contributions to science: the Galápagos finch played an important role in forming Darwin's theory of evolution, and the zebra finch has helped our understanding of how birds learn songs. It's also a surname belonging, amongst other admirable people, to the family in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Description:Xochitl is a Nahuatl or Aztec floral name used in southern Mexico and pronounced SO-chee-tl or SHO-chee-tl, although sometimes the "tl" at the end is not pronounced. Internet entrepreneur Xochi Birch is probably the best-known bearer in the US – except for the Xochitl brand tortilla chips. Definitely among the most intriguing international flower names and a beautiful choice for those looking to honor Nahuatl heritage.
Origin:Flower name, from Czech surname
Description:Camellia is a rare flower name with distinct roots related to the Camille/Camila group and has varied associations to the moon, water, wealth, and perfection. It could be thought of as a floral replacement for Amelia.
Description:Like Sky and Sunshine, this fluffy name from the hippie 1970s has floated back onto the naming radar.
Origin:Flower name, from English surname
Description:A frilly southern-accented flower name yet to be planted on many birth certificates. In the language of flowers, the wisteria is a symbol of devotion. It is named for American horticulturalist John Caspar Wister.
Origin:English word name
Description:Ridge may be the quintessential daytime drama name, but it's still better than most. This is one word name rising rapidly through the ranks, reentering the US Top 1000 in 2015 for the first time since 1989.
Description:Cove is an up-and-coming nature name whose cool sound and peaceful image saw it rising for both sexes... until COVID-19 hit. It decreased slightly for boys in 2020, but actually increased for girls, although it remains a seriously rare and distinctive choice for either gender.
Origin:Flower name from English
Description:Bluebell is one flower name that is used very quietly. Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell joined her former Spice Sisters in creative baby-naming with this adventurous -- some might say outlandish -- choice. Distinctive and charming? Or better suited to a farmyard animal? Your call.
Description:Tempest is one of those names that could go either way. Cool, evocative modern word name? Or asking for trouble? Your call, but if you decide the former image is dominant, be warned that some people will see it as the latter.
Description:This Greek flower and mythological choice doesn't make it into the pantheon of possibilities because of its association with narcissism. But narcissa is December's flower of the month, so Narcissa and Daffodil theoretically make perfect names for December babies.
Origin:English from Latin
Description:Parents are beginning to scan the whole spice shelf for inspiration, picking up on Saffron, Sage, and Cinnamon -- and opening up a chance for this spiciest possibility of all; used for peppy TV characters.
Origin:Botanical name and French
Description:Sorrel is a gentle, amber-hued herbal and autumnal name that's used most often to describe the color of a horse. Sorrell is a variant spelling. Both make excellent names for autumn babies and can be used for either gender.
Description:Lotus is one of the most languorous of the flower names, with intriguing significance in both Buddhism and Hinduism, symbolizing purity, grace and spiritual growth — not to mention a familiar yoga position.
Description:Nickname name from the era of Father Knows Best, though we can see it making something of a comeback, a la Clover and Pippa. Cricket has new potential especially since it has recently been chosen by Busy Philipps. Still, it's one of the quirkier girl names starting with C.
Origin:Word name and literary name
Description:Everybody knows Huckleberry Finn, the Mark Twain character named, Twain said, for the 19th century slang term for "humble." A few modern parents have put it on a birth certificate, including "Man Vs. Wild" star Bear Grylls, who, like many parents, will call the boy the much more manageable Huck. It was also the name of a child on TV's West Wing,
Description:First used during the Victorian craze for jewel names; it could rise again, along with Ruby and Pearl, though it doesn't have as much luster.
Origin:English, Dutch, Frisian
Description:In English, a fen is a wetland fed by surface and/or groundwater. In Dutch and Frisian, it's a traditional diminutive of names containing the element frid, meaning "peace". Either way, Fen makes a fresh alternative to fashionable Finn.