As baby names go, flower names are charming and sweet. Soft and delicate as a petal, they can be surprisingly hardy and enduring on the baby name landscape—they can grow from traditional to trailblazing. During the Victorian era, flowers were used to send secret messages with meanings conveyed in their selection and arrangement. Today’s parents know that there are few name categories as precious and widely appealing as flower names to adorn your child.
Why We Like It: One of the earliest and daintiest of flower names, Violet captures an elegant and old world charm while possessing the edgy, modern appeal of color names like Ruby and Scarlet.
This Name in Fame: Famous literary heroines can be found in Lemony Snicket’s Violet Baudelaire and Shakespeare’s adventurous Viola in Twelfth Night.
Why We Like It:The L’s have it: Lilly, Lilliana, Lilli, and Lil all can trace their roots to the Latin lilium. It was said that lilies originated from the milk of Hera, the Greek goddess. In the language of flowers, lilies represent purity.
This Name in Fame: A top-20 name in the United States, Lily is the reigning flower name. Johnny Depp’s daughter, Lily-Rose, and Kate Beckinsale’s daughter, Lily, are among a current crowd of celebrity teenagers who are just entering the spotlight now.
Meaning: rose; or its pink and red hue
Why We Like It: Everything’s coming up roses! As a name, Rose produces an endless variety of offshoots, including Rosie, Rosa, Rosemary, Rosario, Rosie, Roselyn, and Rosalind. Rose is more in demand as a middle name than a first. Early variants of the name were direct descendants of the German hros, meaning “horse,” or hrod, for “kind” and “fame.”
This Name in Fame: Enduring symbols of beauty and love, roses have long been associated with the Virgin Mary, Valentine’s Day, and goddesses such as Aphrodite and Isis. The rose is the national flower of England. In the U.S., the rose is the state flower of New York, Georgia, Iowa, and North Dakota.
Origin: New Latin
Why We Like It: In terms of its ooh-la-la vowel sounds, Dahlia more closely resembles its more feminine and flirty counterparts, Delilah and Delia, but it means "scientific". Smarts and beauty?! Now, that’s a combination we like!
This Name in Fame: This gorgeous flower name may sound glamorous, but its origins are much more scientific than romantic. Named in honor of Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist from the 18th-century, Dahlia belongs in the company of Linnea, a tribute to Swedish botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus and a top-10 name in Sweden and Norway, and Zinnia, which honors German botanist, Johann Gottfried Zinn.
Origin: Old English
Meaning: poppy flower
Why We Like It: Poppy shares the spunk of other P-names such as Pippa and Piper, without sounding overly precious or pretentious.
This Name in Fame: Poppy first appeared as a name in the late 19th century, before becoming popular in the early 20th century. Currently in vogue in England, Wales, and Scotland, Poppy is a wildly fashionable, top-20 pick in the United Kingdom. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver created a stir when he named his first daughter, Poppy Honey. Australian bombshell, Poppy Montgomery, is a genuine flower child, as her parents named all of their children after fragrant blooms.
Origin: Old English
Meaning: day’s eye (for the way the flower opens at dawn)
Why We Like It: We think Daisy sounds fresh without being fussy. As a name, Daisy has a free-spirited and open feel. As a flower, it has an open, honest face with white petals radiating from a yellow center. No wonder folks say daisies look like the sun.
This name in Fame: In France, Daisy is a nickname for Margare; maybe that’s why actress Meg (short for Margaret) Ryan changed her daughter’s name from Charlotte to Daisy! Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver must love his garden, because he named his second daughter, Daisy Boo.
Meaning: heavenly lei or heavenly garland of flowers
Why We Like It: Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers, back in the days when crowns were really wreaths of flowers (not golden circles encrusted with jewels). Leilani takes that wreath-garland-lei legacy and turns it over on its Greco-Roman head—for one thing, this girl swims in Pacific waters. Credit Leilani’s recent wave of popularity to her lilting cadence and sunny, tropical roots. What Kai became to boys, Leilani could well become for the girls.
This Name in Fame: Leilani hasn't swept the celebrity world yet, but we're waiting!
Why We Like It: Azalea resembles an elegant woman in a ballgown, trailing a long train of vowels. And, she has a commanding presence, with letters from A to Z! Azaleas have been cultivated for hundreds of years and have inspired festivals throughout the United States and Asia, most notably in Japan. The azalea is one of the emblems of Sao Paulo, Brazil. These flowering shrubs like to grow in the shade—and are quite lethal, packing toxins in the leaves and nectar.
This Name in Fame: Azealia Banks is a rapper and singer bearing a creative spelling of the name.
Why We Like It: A flower in the olive family, this fragrant blossom provides a name that rolls off the tongue. Other foreign flower names to try: Jacinta, which is Spanish for “Hyacinth,” Nila, which is Sanskrit for “Lilac,” or Fleur, French for “flower.” It all sounds très chic to us!
This Name in Fame: Jasmine became hugely popular as a girl’s name with the 1992 Disney hit, Aladdin. Although Jasmine has dropped to #85 in the United States, its variants are climbing elsewhere. Yasmin is a top 10 name in Brazil and Yasemin is a popular girl’s name in Turkey.