Flower names

Though the names Lily, Violet, Daisy, Jasmine, and Rose are currently quite popular, there are a lot of other flower names to choose from. Some of these may work better as middle names, or could only be pulled off on the right person, but I think most of them work really nicely as forenames. When people aren’t used to seeing something as a name, that often leads to declaring it’s automatically ridiculous and outlandish, when it’s really just not very popular. Ultimately, it comes down to the namer’s own judgment call.


Amaryllis means “to sparkle” in Greek.


Anthea is the Latin form of the original Greek Antheia, meaning “flower.”


Bluma is Yiddish for “flower.” An alternative spelling is Blima.

Calanthe, or Calantha, is a type of orchid. It means “beautiful flower” in Greek.

Calla is a type of lily, and means “beauty” in Greek.


Carnation. I see this more as a middle name.

Celandine means “swallow” (i.e., the bird) in Greek.

Clematis is a type of flowering vine, and means “twig/branch” in Greek. I wouldn’t recommend using this name in an Anglophone country, since it’s so close to a certain part of the female anatomy.


Columbine is a name I also am a bit leery about, given the immediate association with the 1999 Columbine shooting.



Dahlia. The Spanish form is Dalia, which is Mexico’s national flower.

Diantha means “heavenly flower” in Greek.

Eglantine is another name for sweetbrier. I’d also stay away from this as a forename, since it does sound quite dated.

Euthalia means “good blossom” in Greek.

Fiorella means “little flower” in Italian.

Fleur is French. The diminutive form is Fleurette.

Flora is Latin in origin, from the Roman goddess of flowers and Spring. It came into general usage in Renaissance France. The diminutive form is Floretta.




Ianthe, or Iantha, means “violet flower” in Greek.

Iris, though the English name of a flower, means “rainbow” in Greek. Íris is the Portuguese form, Iiris is Finnish, and Irisa is Latvian and Albanian.


Jonquil means “reed” in Latin. I see this more as a middle name.

Kalanit means “anemone” in Hebrew, and is the name of my 16-year-old spider plant.

Kamala (a unisex name) mens “lotus” or “pale red” in Sanskrit.

Kielo means “lily of the valley” in Finnish.



Linnéa is another name for the twinflower, which famed botanist Carolus Linnaeus named after himself. I really love this name.




Marjoram. I’d recommend this more as a middle name, since it sounds so close to “margarine.”

Pansy. For obvious but sad reasons, this isn’t a name I could see becoming popular again anytime soon.




Primula is the genus of several flower species, including the primrose. It means “very first” in Latin.

Prunella is another name for a flower called “self-heal,” and derives from the Latin word for plum. For obvious reasons, I see this working better as a middle name.


Saffron means “gold leaves” in Persian.


Sakura can mean “cherry blossom” in Japanese.



Vanamo means “twinflower” in Finnish.

Violetta is the Russian and Italian form of the very popular Violet. Violeta is the Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Romanian, Macedonian, and Spanish form; Violette is French; and Wioleta and Wioletta are Polish.

Yasmin (variant forms include Yasmine, Yasmina, Yasamin, and Yasmeen) is the Persian and Arabic form of Jasmine. Jasmina is the Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Croatian form.



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