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Unique Nature Names

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.

Unique 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 unusual baby names drawn from nature.

Unique Nature Names
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JuniperHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin tree name
  • Meaning:

    "young"
  • 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.

BearHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Meaning:

    "bear"
  • 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.

CassiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine form of Cassius or Greek
  • Meaning:

    "cinnamon"
  • 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.”

LavenderHeart

  • Origin:

    English plant and color name
  • Meaning:

    "lavender"
  • 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.

PrimroseHeart

  • Origin:

    English flower name
  • Meaning:

    "first rose"
  • Description:

    Still found in quaint British novels, and until recently considered a bit too prim for most American classrooms, some adventurous namers are suddenly beginning to see Primrose as an attractive member of the rose family.
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AzaleaHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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 just 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 exotic that has been growing in popularity.

AmaryllisHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "to sparkle"
  • 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.

WrenHeart

  • Origin:

    English bird name
  • 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 2012 there were 250 girls in the U.S. named Wren and 29 boys. That number puts Wren on the verge of breaking through to the Top 1000 for girls, which may well tip it even further into the girls' column.

AsteriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "star"
  • 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.

AcaciaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "thorny"
  • 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.
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MarigoldHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from English
  • Meaning:

    "golden flower"
  • 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.

LilacHeart

  • 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.

BasilHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "regal"
  • 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.

BlossomHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "to bloom"
  • Description:

    Now that parents have picked virtually every name in the garden, from the common Rose to the exotic Zinnia, some are reconsidering the old, more generic names like Flora and Posy and Blossom-- which was last in favor in the 1920's and still has a Floradora showgirl aura.

BryonyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin flower name
  • Meaning:

    "to sprout"
  • 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.
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PeregrineHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "traveler, pilgrim"
  • 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.

FraserHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish from French
  • Meaning:

    "strawberry"
  • Description:

    Though TV's "Frasier" made the name famous, and Frazier is a well-used variation, Fraser is the original, used mostly in Scotland.

CedarHeart

  • Origin:

    English and French from Latin tree name
  • Meaning:

    "cedar tree"
  • 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.

LinneaHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish
  • 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.

HyacinthHeart

  • 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 exotic flower name.
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ZinniaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from German surname
  • Meaning:

    "Zinn's flower"
  • 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.

SaffronHeart

  • Origin:

    Spice name
  • 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.

FlintHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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.

MossHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • 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.

DoveHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • 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.
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StormHeart

  • Origin:

    Word 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.

LynxHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Description:

    One of the fierce new animal names new to name lists, helped by its strong x-ending.

CloudHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Like Sky and Sunshine, this fluffy name from the hippie 1970s has floated back onto the naming radar.

XochitlHeart

  • Origin:

    Nahuatl, Aztec
  • Meaning:

    "flower"
  • 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.

CamelliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Czech surname
  • Meaning:

    "Kamel's flower"
  • Description:

    Camellia is an exotic 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.
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MapleHeart

  • 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.

QuillHeart

  • 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).

FinchHeart

  • Origin:

    English word and nature name
  • Meaning:

    "to swindle"
  • 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.

NarcissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "daffodil"
  • 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.

OakHeart

  • 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.
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CoralHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • 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.

DeltaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek, fourth letter of Greek alphabet
  • Description:

    Southern charm, lazy-day-down-by-the-river feel.

PepperHeart

  • Origin:

    English from Latin
  • Meaning:

    "berry"
  • 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.

HarborHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    If you like names that are not really names -- some say, the wave of the future -- Harbor has an attractive sound as well as an appealing meaning and image.

PlumHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    British-born novelist Plum Sykes has taken this rich, fruity name out of the produce section and put it into the baby name basket. It's more appealing than Apple, more presentable than Peaches. The French equivalent, Prune, is very fashionable there but would not fly with English speakers.
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RidgeHeart

  • 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.

FaunaHeart

  • Origin:

    Roman goddess of nature and animals
  • Description:

    Fauna is the Roman goddess of the earth as well as one of the fairies who protected Disney's "Sleeping Beauty," but it's still a bit too generic to be recommended as a baby name.

ReefHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Description:

    Modern surfer boy. Just don't call him Reefer.

StrawberryHeart

  • Origin:

    Fruit name
  • Description:

    Another entry in the fruit name category, this one borne by writer Strawberry Saroyan, granddaughter of William, so named by her hippie parents. While fruit names may become more familiar, they'll never pass without comment -- but maybe that's what you're looking for.

WisteriaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from English surname
  • Meaning:

    "Wister's flower"
  • 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.
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BloomHeart

  • Origin:

    Word Name
  • Description:

    A fragrant floral name that would be great as a middle name. Bloom is the name of the character in TV's Winx Club who, Harry Potter-style, gets sent to fairy college.

JaguarHeart

  • Origin:

    Animal name
  • Description:

    Grrrr.

SnowHeart

  • 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.

TempestHeart

  • Origin:

    Word name
  • Meaning:

    "turbulent, stormy"
  • 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.

HuckleberryHeart

  • 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,
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