Nature Names

I’ve got a Hippie hiding in me! There are so many Nature names I enjoy. Of course, there are ones I don’t, apparently my inner hippie is very picky, too! I’ve been collecting nature names for a long while, So long, in fact that I have them seperated into types of nature names: Colors, Gemstone, Mineral & Metals, Fabric, Foods, Flowers. Trees & Plants,  The Earth, The Elements, The Seasons & The Weather, And then the Abstract Nouns (Verity, Noble, Clement).  I think I’m going to limit myself to Flowers, Trees & Plants today. If there’s a category up there that you want to see, let me know, I can dig those up and post those too.


Without further ado, The Flower, Tree & Plant name I like, (boys in blue):

PeonyDaisy & Marguerite
Lupin – Why not Lou?
Coriander  – Cory?
Cress – maybe as a nickname for the Shakesperian Cressida?  
Ebony – Eben works as anickname, by sound.
Sorrel – Always masculine to me, I remember Sorrel Booke.
Columbine – I still think it’s pretty despite the trgedy associaiated now.
Reed- Snappy & snazzy, feels musical as well as naturey. This would be one of my boys if I was a little Hippier!
Aspen – Why would you put this sound on a girl? Ass-pen? All boy to me!
Valerian- Yep, Val on a guy is hot!
Tiger Lily
Campion- feels surnamey, sort of.
Bramble – Don’t know why this one says masculine to me, but it is.
Speedwell – Same with him. Something about speed…
Rampion – it’s the ramp- that makes me think boy. here.
Alder – There’s precedent for these four following as male.
Plantain- Maybe I’m odd, but these three just feel strong.
Vervain  – Verve seems masculine as a sound.
Hawthorn- as a surname, he’s clearly manly!
Gentian – The only Gen- name that strikes me as masculine. Might be the -ian.
Sage – This one’s clearly unisex for me. I could easily use it on either. But more likely because of the nasty smell, boy.
Amsonia – The similairty to Anson, makes it boyish.
Foxglove-  Fox. Easy guy!
Larkspur – Lark’s a surname familiar to me, surname sounds go on boys.
Calyx-  Just looks masculine.
Hickory- Andrew Jackson makes this masculine.
Barley- just sounds boyish to me. the Bar- sound usually is.
Elm – These final three  have precedent as masculine too.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JNE
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 13:40:03

    Wow – that’s quite a thorough list! Some I dig. Anemone was a favorite when I discovered my first “Name Your Baby” book at age 9 on my mom’s bookshelf (read it cover to cover – was relieved I wasn’t Priscilla – another name my mother had marked – I’m just not a “Prissy”). I think I liked how Anemone bounced around in my mouth when I said it.

    Your comment on Sage made me giggle. I like the smell 🙂 I went to school with a female Sage. Am pretty neutral on the name, but I like the herb. But I think the name might have more wide appeal for those searching for nature or abstract noun names…. also it’s short without being harsh.

    Heliotrope? Hmmm, that’s too far out for my tastes – something about the “trope” ending maybe…

    For me, Hawthorne, Reed, and Coriander are the tops for the boys (I really like Coriander – but I’m not a Cory person… Hawthorne is nice, but Thorny for a nickname… I don’t think so…).

    I love Lily, of course, but also Azalea, Mimosa, Freesia, Ivy, Fern, Marigold, and Hazel… and Linden… I’m actually warming a lot to Linden of late.

    In addition to your list, I have some Dianthus in my garden that, when I planted it, I thought, hmmm… it’s like Diane, but more interesting and a floral (it’s also quite pretty)… the thought quickly passed, but now I’m reminded again (with the Lilianthus on your list)…

    Also, one of my faves in my garden are my Crepe Myrtles… I keep trying to like Myrtle, but can’t… Can you? I just think Myrtle, Yertle, Turtle…. But I adore the bush/tree… is Myrtle just too old and dated and resigned to be forever out of use, I wonder?

    My mother has a ton of Alyssum and Pachysandra in her yard… are they worthy of a spot? I kind of like Alyssum, but they also kind of sound like standard names with a little extra on top. What do you think?

    I absolutely love flower and tree names (even plain old Douglas seems better when I think of Douglas Fir trees)… They can be a little to twee in some cases, but that’s OK in the middle, and some are downright lovely as firsts.


  2. Cat
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 14:40:52

    Well, I love a lot of the florals, as you know, but I find some of these intriguing as well.

    Tulip is a major guilty pleasure of mine. Rebecca Romijn recently used it on one of her daughters, something Tamara Tulip. They’re my favorite flower!

    Please tell me that Buttercup is for The Princess Bride. Love that movie. 😀

    My mom has always wanted a cat named Tiger Lily.

    Oh, and my dear grandmother called me Petunia when I was a baby, because I “smelled as sweet as a petunia.” She was enamored of me because she had all boys (5)! I was the first granddaughter.

    Great list!


  3. Lola
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 14:46:15

    Heliotrope makes me want to sing, for some reaon. I know it’s in a song, somwhere!

    Exactly what I think about a lot of these, perfect for the middle! Interesting, unusual, a lot of them & undenaibly pretty, even the boying sounding ones. Reed, Sorrell & Alder are my three favorites for boys, I love the strength of Alder, the sweetness of Sorrell & the versatility of Reed (another one Ioan Gruffudd makes me like even more).
    I think Myrtle’s somewhat of a lost cause, thanks to HP. “Moaning Myrtle” is not a character that grows on one, you know? *Sigh* Sad to say, I think Myrtle’s had it. And for a long time too. Too bad because without that, she might have had a chance with all the other flowers slowly coming back!
    I’d give Allyssum a shot in the middle, but Pachysandra? Too close to Pachyderm for my comfort! I’d go with Sithandra (Like from “Eon Flux” before I went with Pachysandra!

    Mimosa’s one that gives me fits. I love Mimosa trees, grew up with one in the front years. I love their smell, their flowers and the look of the tree overall. Too bad it’s also an alcoholic drink. 😦


  4. Lola
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 15:00:27

    😀 Cat, indeed Buttercup is there because of “The PRincess Bride” Hands down, my favorite movie, ever! My Grandma called me Lily, for herself. Rarely I got anything else but the three granddaughters got together this past summer and what stories we all had of her. M Cousin Jamie Ann, Dawn, Kathleen & I are the only three girls on Pop’s side. Jamie Ann’s Jim’s (the oldest) and Dawn belongs to Skip, the youngest’s and of course, Kathleen & I belonged to Wayne. Grandma had 4 boys, got four grandaughters and two grandsons, that’s it. Jamie Ann told me that Grandma often referred to me as Peony when talking about me to them. My sister was Iris. Two of her favorite flowers. Dawn (a year older than I) was upset that Grandma called her Daffodil. Funnily enough, Dawn has a daughter of her own now, she’s 12. Her name? Daphne! So maybe the suconsious was working for her at the time?

    Petunia is a darling nickname. Because of Porky Pig’s other half, I probably wouldn’t use it as a name but I could, like your Grandmother, use it as a lovey- name (asn my Grandma used to call them)!

    Thanks for swinging by Cat!


  5. Emma
    Jan 08, 2009 @ 22:00:47

    I like almost all of these; only commenting on a few

    love Fuchsia! I love its rich blossoming sound and color. (The problem comes with looking it up in a dictionary. I did it once during Spanish class to prove the spelling; the twenty-thirty-forty entries following it were all pretty awkward.)

    Hyacinth I actually only like on a boy. Not because I am a stickler for how it was originally a male name, but because it really, really sounds masculine to me. Same with Hazel; Sabrina Fair turned me around on that one.

    I’m having a May fling lately.

    Bluebell awwww.

    Mimosa awwww. (I actually played up the M’s in my Jemima combo, despite your suggestions, and made it Jemima Emma Mimosa. m m m m m.) Darling with Mimi and Mim and Missy.

    I love Gardenia, it’s so rich.

    I also really love Cressida.

    I kind of like Ivy on a boy too.

    Buttercup awwww.

    I love all of the Columb- names. They are so solemn and gentle.

    My beloved English teacher’s daughter is named Reed. 😦 It seems so, so, so boyish to me. Snappy and fun and extremely boyish.

    Val on a guy is smokin’.

    Sunflower! How delightful!

    Dianthus! Seems masculine to me, and Diantha feminine. How cool.

    I wish I liked Daffodil. It is an important flower to me but I can’t make its name dignified.

    I do LOVE Chrysanthemum though. I have loads of (slightly corny) combos for it: Mary Chrysanthemum, Frances Chrysanthemum, May Chrysanthemum, Lily Chrysanthemum, etc. It’s got the filler rhythm of Elizabeth but is so far from filler status. And it’s fun and bouncy and joyful, and Issa has a billion beautiful haiku about them. If I had one I would call her ‘Mum.

    Also: the Japanese word for Chrysanthemum is Kiku. Isn’t that perfect?

    Foxglove! !!! Brilliant!

    Pine aww.

    Wish I liked Hickory.

    Birch is solid and snappy. I find it boyish.

    Elm is so sweet to me. Feels feminine.

    My naturey names are ~~Blossom~~ (oh what a joy!), Bloom, Flora, (Rose/Lily of course), May, Spring (I knew a girl named Samantha Spring – Spring was a family surname, but I thought it was just delightful), Amarantha/Amarantine, Grasshopper, Chrysanthemum, Kiku, Mount (conveniently a family surname!), Blanchefleur (maybe one day I will come around to Whiteflower too but meh), Moth, Frost, Hart (as a nature name, in reference to the animal; I also like it just as the germanic element), Knosp (it means ‘unopened bud’, I find that extremely intriguing), Petrichor (this is the word for the smell that remains after rain), Robin on a boy, Viorel (romanian or something for bluebell), Wolf, Dirt (mostly as an answer to Sky, which I can’t stand), Butterfly, Shepherd, Mimosa, Columba (I count it because it is so evocative of doves to me), Garden, Gardenia, Gardener, at times Dove, at times Plantagenet, at times Owl, at times Oak, and, if it counts, Xanadu. I also toy around with various lyrically inspired phrase names: Bright-Wings, Laughing-Waters, Handful-Of-Rain, Natural-Piety. [Almost all of theses as middle names.] And I am adding Foxglove, Birch, Diantha, Dianthus, Buttercup, Sunflower, and Bluebell. Excited.


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