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Women's Names and their Floral Namesakes


What’s in a name...a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” The immortal words of the great playwright William Shakespeare. These words are particularly poignant when we look at the importance throughout history of the use of flowers for naming women. Here we’ve collated just a few, to pay homage to the importance of women on Mother’s Day and their floral namesakes.

We have all heard of Rose, Poppy and Lily as names for girls but there have always been trends associated with flower names. In the 1990’s Lily became, one of the trendiest girls’ names. Then Daisy began gaining more importance.  Rose became the middle name of choice. Around a hundred years ago babies were given names derived from flowers now that trend has resurfaced after a long dormancy, once again flowers as names for girls are as popular as ever.

Daisy, is both charming and simple, Daisy started off as a nickname for Margaret but it’s floral equivalent is now more popular than the original.

Iris, once seemingly a dowdy old lady’s name was revived when a famous celebrity couple named their daughter after this elegant flower.

Jasmine, such a sweet and soothing scent it is also one of the most exotic of the popular flower names, with many spelling variations: Jazmin, Jazzmyn etc. You may or may not know that there are other derivations from the name including Yasmine, along with the lovely British favorite Jessamine or Jessamyn which is believed to be French for jasmine.

Lily, this elegant and fragrant flower also has many other stylish derivations including Liliana, Lilia, and in France, Lilou.

Rose, is perhaps one of the most famous flowers in western civilisation. It’s no surprise then that it has always been a common name for girls. Currently it is also a very popular middle name, with many variations — from Rosa to Rosalia to Rosemary, although the latter is more of a herb than a fragrant flower.

Violet is such a traditional name that we often associate it with times past. However, this most ancient of names has also enjoyed a resurgence in recent years with the advent of celebrity couples and the naming of their offspring in honor of this flower. In France, Violette is its equivalent while in Italian it’s Violetta.

The British are famous gardeners and have long been more hospitable to using flower names for children than Americans.  Here are some that are heard most often in the British Isles.

The name Bryony is quite popular amongst the Brits. It is also a name of a vine with green flowers, it can also be spelled Briony, popular in England and and also amongst the Antipodeans, most notably in New Zealand.

Flora, although not attributed to any individual flower it is a vintage name and is thought charming amongst many western cultures. It typifies the beauty of all flowers within the plant kingdom.

Ivy was once a popular womans name in the thirties and forties and once again is enjoying a resurgence and is even starting to emigrate to America possibly because of its stylish initial “I”.

Marigold is a name synonymous with the beautiful golden orange leaves of this popular British wall flower. Its meaning however, is not quite so beautiful and it is said to represent affection, cruelty, grief, jealousy. The marigold was called Mary's Gold by early Christians who placed garlands of marigolds by statues of the Virgin Mary. It was once a popular British choice rarely heard elsewhere.

Petunia is also a classic English name but is often ridiculed and more likely used to name a pet cow than a baby girl these days!

Pansy, it’s an adorable and yet the teasing possibilities render this one an unlikely choice.

Poppy, is a popular name choice in Britain and beginning to be heard elsewhere too.

Primrose, beautiful as the flower it’s prim and dainty yet offbeat. It is the quintessential British name.

Exotic Flowers

Amaryllis, the flower may be similar to a lily, but the name is considerably more offbeat most famously this flower is often given at Christmas time. It’s rigid green trunk and beautiful trumpet like petals

Aster, this flower looks a lot like a colourful daisy, the name has been made popular as the little girl on TV’s “Dexter”. It is thought this name will become more popular with the rise of the whole flower genre.

Azalea The z will definitely keep it exotic!

Calla, a derivation of the lily is also linked to other popular names which include the trendy Callie/Kaylee family of names.

Dahlia, this beautiful flower was once an old favourite but its popularity a little like the flower has waned. However this one seems to be percolating and we expect to hear more of it.

Lilac, this gorgeous flower that grows on the tree is also a popular name for a girl and color. The two l’s, raise the similarity to Lily, and the beautiful color and scent of the original flower make this choice a winner.

Orchid, this flower name is as exotic as its floral embodiment. This is another hothouse bloom, very exotic.

Tulip, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell used this as a middle name for one of their twins, and singer Tiny Tim picked it as a first several  decades ago. It maybe an everyday flower but it makes for a less than ordinary name.

There is no better time than when we send flowers on Mother’s Day to think also of the importance of the names behind these beautiful gifts and also the significance and importance that flowers have had in history. The names of some of the most beautiful flowers on the planet are also the names so often given to that of a baby girl who becomes a woman, who becomes someone’s mom someday. That is why the gift of a floral bouquet, arrangement or plant is such a special offering this Mother’s Day and one that is bound to be appreciated in the future too.