Botanical Baby Names Part Two
Not a week goes by in the HPH Facebook group where we don’t see someone searching for cool and unusual botanical and nature-based names. Whether it’s your new baby, or your new fur-baby, we’ve got a whole host of suggestions for you today! You can check out our first installment of botanical and nature names here, and as always feel free to leave a comment and tell us if we’ve missed your favorite name.
Abilene: This unusual name has Hebrew roots and is thought to mean “meadow” or “grassy area.”
Acacia: Derived from the Greek ake for “thorn” or “point,” Acacia is also a type of tree.
Acantha: The name of a nymph from Greek myth, Acantha means “thorn” or “prickle.”
Alfalfa: A clover like plant used to feed livestock (and those of us who like it in salads).
Alon & Alona: This name and its feminine counterpart mean “oak tree” in Hebrew.
Amaryllis: This name, shared with one of the most popular blooming house plants, takes its inspiration from the Greek amarysso which means "to sparkle."
Anise: This name is from the English for the herb also called aniseed, a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region. It has a flavor similar to fennel and liquorice.
Anthea: This name means “flower” or “blossom” from the Greek anthos.
Arbor: An arbor is a shelter of vines or branches, from the Middle English erber or herber meaning “garden.”
Aria/Arya: The Italian word aria literally means air — so not only does Aria have the connotation of fresh air out in the garden, opera fans will recognize this name as a type of vocal solo, and Game of Thrones fans will recognize it from Arya Stark. We’re really covering a lot of bases with this one!
Ashton: Originally an Old English surname that meant “ash tree town,” Ashton is now a unisex given name.
Aviva: The feminine variant of Aviv, which means “spring” in Hebrew.
Barclay: This Scottish boys’ name is rare, but probably derived from the place name Berkeley meaning “birch wood.”
Betony: While Betony might get confused for Bethany, this name comes from the herb often found growing in grasslands and meadows. In folklore, Betony protects against bad dreams, ghosts, and even sorcery.
Blair: This name comes from a Scottish surname derived from Gaelic blár for “plain,” “field,” or “battlefield” — we like to picture a peaceful field rather than a battlefield!
Blossom: This rare name comes from the Old English blóstm, and evokes images of springtime and blooming flowers.
Bracken: Bracken are a sort of large fern with large, highly divided leaves.
Briallen: This modern name comes from the Welsh briallu meaning “primrose.”
Calanthe & Calanthia: Calanthe and the more elaborate Calanthia come from a type of orchid, originally derived from the Greek kalos “beautiful” and anthos “flower.”
Carmela (f) & Carmelo (m): These are variants of the name Carmel, which comes from the Hebrew word for garden.
Cassia: Sometimes known as Chinese cinnamon, Cassia is a type of evergreen tree used to make spices.
Celyn: This boys name comes from the Welsh for “holly.”
Chrysanthe: This name is the feminine form of Chrysanthos, which comes from the Greek chryseos “golden” and anthos “flower.”
Cleveland: Originally an Old English surname indicating “hilly land.”
Coal: He might be mistaken for a Cole, but this tip of the hat to one of our favorite soil amendments (horticultural charcoal) had to make the list!
Crina: This name, pronounced KREE-na, comes from the Romanian crin meaning “lily.”
Dafna & Dafina: Both of these names mean “laurel,” a tree also known as sweet bay.
Dale: This name comes from the English surname that indicated a person who lived in or near a dale or valley — not strictly a plant name, but it makes us think of tending a garden in a peaceful valley, and we like that.
Daphne: Like Dafna and Dafina above, Daphne means “laurel.” In Greek myth, this was the name of a nymph who was turned into a tree.
Delphine: While Delphine and Delphina are feminine forms of Delphinus, the Latin for “of Delphi,” this name also makes us think of the perennial flowering plant, Delphinium.
Eden: The name Eden may come from the Hebrew ‘eden “pleasure, delight” — according to the Tanakh/Old Testament, the Garden of Eden was where the first people originally lived.
Eglantine: This name comes from another word for the sweetbrier plant. If you’ve ever read The Borrowers by Mary Norton, you might recognize this name from the story.
Eithne: You probably recognize this Scots and Irish name from its anglicized variant, Enya. The name means “kernel” or “grain.”
Embla: In Norse myth, Embla and her husband Ask were the first humans. Embla is thought to derive from the word for Elm, while her husband Ask’s name comes from the Ash tree.
Farley: Originally from a surname, Farley comes from the Old English for “fern clearing.”
Floriane/Florianne: These female variants of the name Florian come from the Roman name Florianus, which derives from the Latin flos meaning “flower.”
Flower: It’s so obvious, it’s almost easy to miss. If you’re looking for a botanical name, why not Flower?
Gaia: In Greek myth, Gaia is the goddess personification of the Earth.
Garrick: Originally a surname derived from the Occitan garric, meaning “oak tree grove.” This name gets bonus points for being the given name of Mr. Ollivander, the wand maker from Harry Potter.
Garth: Originally a surname meaning “garden” in Old Norse.
Ginevra: This name is the Italian variant on the name Guinevere, but it’s also been associated with the Italian word for “juniper.” Harry Potter bonus points are awarded to Ginevra, for being Ginny Weasley’s full given name.
Glenn: Originally a Scottish surname from the Gaelic gleann for “valley.”
Grover: This name comes from a surname meaning "grove of trees" from the Old English graf. Famous Grovers include one U.S. president, one muppet from Sesame Street, and this writer’s cat (who thinks he’s famous, and that’s what counts).
Gwydion: From Welsh myth, this name means “born of trees.”
Hadassah: This name derives from the Hebrew hadas “myrtle tree.”
Hadley: Originally a surname, this name derives from the Old English for “heather field.”
Haig: Originally an surname, Haig comes from the Old English haga or perhaps the Old Norse hagi, which mean “hedged field.”
Hana: While she might get mistaken for a Hannah, Hana is from the Japanese for “flower.”
Hayley: From the Old English heg “hay” and leah “clearing.”
Holden: Perhaps most famous as the main character from The Catcher in the Rye, Holden was originally a surname meaning “deep valley.”
Hollis: Originally a surname from the Middle English holis “holly trees.”
Hyde: Perhaps from an Old English surname referring to a “hide” of land, which was a unit of measure determining how much land would support a family.
Ianthe/Iolanthe: The name of a nymph in Greek myth, Ianthe means “violet flower.”
Ilima: From the flower of the O’ahu plant, this Hawaiian name means “flower.”
Irit: This name means “asphodel flower” in Hebrew. (Take ten points for your house if your first thought was “Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”)
Ives: This English variant of the French Yves is related to the Germanic Ivo, which was originally a short form of names beginning with the Germanic element iv meaning “yew.”
Jacinthe & Jacinta: Instead of Hyacinth, the French variant is Jacinthe, while in Spanish and Portuguese the name becomes Jacinta.
Jarah: This Biblical boys’ name means “honeycomb” or “honeysuckle” in Hebrew.
Jela: This name means “fir tree” in Serbian and Croatian.
Kaede: This name means “maple” in Japanese.
Kalei: This modern Hawaiian name refers to the lei, a garland or wreath of flowers.
Kalina: This name means “viburnum tree.” Viburnum are diverse, flowering shrubs that add beauty to any yard or garden.
Kamala: Another name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, this name means “lotus” or “pale red” in Sanskrit.
Keziah: From the Hebrew name Qetzi'ah, which means “cassia” or “cinnamon.”
Kielo: From the Finnish for “lily of the valley.”
Kiri: This name means “skin of a tree or fruit” in Maori.
Knox: Originally a surname from the Old English cnocc meaning “round hill.”
Lalla: This name comes from the Persian laleh meaning “tulip.”
Leilani: This name can mean "heavenly flowers" or "royal child" from the Hawaiian lei meaning “lowers, lei, child” and lani meaning “heaven, sky, royal, majesty.”
Leland: Originally from an Old English surname meaning “fallow land” — in other words, land you’re eventually going to get planting on!
Leslie: Originally a surname that came from a Scottish place name, Leslie probably derives from the Gaelic leas celyn meaning “garden of holly.”
Liana: While Liana is short for names like Juliana that end with it, the word liana also means a certain type of vine plants use to climb toward the canopy for light.
Lilac: This name comes from the English word for Syringa vulgaris, or the Lilac bush, which produces beautifully scented white or purple flowers in spring.
Lilia: The Spanish and Italian variant of the floral classic, Lily.
Lillian: This more elaborate form of Lily may in fact also have been a diminutive for Elizabeth. Either way, we love it’s delicate floral sound.
Linnea (also: Linnéa): This name comes from Swedish botanist Carl Linneaus, and means “linden tree” based on his surname’s meanind” or “twinflower” based on the flower named in his honor.
Lokelani: This modern Hawaiian name comes from loke “rose” and lani “heaven, sky.”
Lotus: This rare name comes from the name of the Lotus flower or the Lotus tree.
Maile: Pronounced MIE-leh, Maile is a type of vine grown in Hawaii that is used in making leis.
Mali: This name means “flower” in Thai.
Marsh: Originally a surname, Marsh refers to marshlands. Found at the edges of lakes and streams, Marsh evokes images of swaying grasses and rushes.
Melina: Like Melissa, Melina may come from the Greek meli “honey” — making us think of honeybees in the garden.
Midori: From the Japanese for “green,” Midori evokes the lush tones of our favorite gardens.
Mimosa: Not just a fab brunch cocktail, Mimosa pudica is the most well known “sensitive plant” that responds to touch.
Nari: If Lily or Lillian aren’t your style, try Nari from the Korean for “lily.”
Nash: Originally a surname from the Middle English atten ash “at the ash tree.”
Nawra: This name means “flower” or “blossom” in Arabic.
Nikau: From the Maori for a type of palm tree found in New Zealand.
Odell: Originally a surname derived from the Old English wad “woad” and hyll “hill.” Woad is a European plant with yellow flowers. From the cabbage family, it used to be used to produce a blue dye.
Olivia: Like Olive or Oliver, Olivia refers to the Olive tree.
Pansy: This name refers to the popular colorful garden flower. it may also derive from the Old French pensee “thought.”
Peony: This name comes from the English name for the popular flowering garden plant.
Petunia: Like Pansy, Petunia comes from the English name of a popular, sun-loving flowering plant that hails from South America. (It may not give the name bonus points, but Harry Potter fans will recognize this as the name of Harry’s aunt.)
Phyllis: From Greek myth, Phyllis means “foliage.”
Pomona: From Roman myth, Pomona means “fruit tree.” Bonus points are awarded for being the given name of Professor Sprout from Harry Potter.
Prairie: This unusual name refers to meadows or grasslands.
Raleigh: Originally a surname, Raleigh comes from the Old English for “red clearing” — we don’t know about your but we’re picturing a clearing abundant with wildflowers, and we like it.
Rhea: Originally from the Greek rheo “to flow” or era “ground.”
Ridley: From an Old English surname meaning “reed clearing” or “channel” clearing, Ridley is like Marsh putting us in mind of reeds and rushes waving in the breeze.
Rosa, Rosalie, & Rosalia: Looking for variants on the name Rose? We’ve got you covered!
Rye: Originally a surname that may have come from a few different Old English sources — atter ye "at the island" or atter eye "at the river" — Rye is a modern sounding name with connotations of growing things and working the land.
Ryland: A modern twist on Rye.
Senna: We had to include Senna, since we included Cassia. Senna plants were originally identified by botanist Carl Linnaeus as Cassia plants.
Sharon: Initially from the Hebrew for “plain” — as in a plain of grass — the Rose of Sharon is also a type of flowering shrub.
Shaw: Originally an English surname that was derived from the Old English ceaga “thicket.”
Soleil: This is the French word for sun (something all of our plants love).
Sylvester: Originally from the Latin silva “wood, forest,” Sylvester and variant Silvester join Sylvan and Sylvia as classic names with an ethereal yet woodsy feel.
Synova: Along with variant Sunniva, Synova means “gift of the sun.”
Taimi: Pronounced TIE-mee, this name means “sapling” or “young tree” in Finnish, and “seedling” in Estonian.
Tamara: A variant of the Biblical Tamar, Tamara means “date palm” from the Hebrew.
Tierre: A bit of a twist on the French terre “earth,” Tierre is the masculine counterpart of Tierra.
Tierra: A name that means “earth” or “land” in Spanish.
Timber: This modern name refers to wood that’s used for building or making.
Wesley: Originally an Old English surname that meant “west meadow.”
Wood: Well, this name is self explanatory! Originally a surname, Wood can also be an unexpectedly modern given name.
Xochitl: Pronounced SO-cheetl or SHO-cheetl, this name means "flower" in Nahuatl.
Xylia: Pronounced ZIE-lee-ah, this modern name takes its inspiration from the Greek xýlo for “wood.”
Yara: Perhaps originally from the Hebrew for “forested,” Yara wins Game of Thrones bonus points — readers will know her name was actually Asha, but we’re not about to argue with the Ironborn either way.
Yasmine: Yasmin and Yasmine are both variants of the English Jasmine. All of these names have roots in Persian (yasamen), and refer to the climbing plant with fragrant flowers often used in perfume making.
Yves: If the English Ives isn’t to your taste, try Yves. This is the Medieval French variant of Ivo, originally a nickname for names beginning with the Germanic iv for “yew.”
Zala: This Slovenian nickname for Rozalija ultimately derives from Rose, for the flower.
Zahrah: This name comes from the Arabic for “blooming flower.”