Let's talk unusual flowers names! Angelonia, Hepatica and more

This post is just purely for fun. I wanted to talk about unusual florwer names. Names that we don’t see used, or rarely used, but that could definitely have some naming appeal.
Some of these may be best suited to a guiltly pleasure list, some you might feel comfortable using as a middle name, and maybe, just maybe some of these have first name potential.

I’ll be doing a list for flower names for boys too but it will take a little longer to put together.

Going in alphabetical order these are the names I’ve compiled
Alyssum- for sweet alyssum. A floral alternative to [name_f]Alyssa[/name_f].
[name_f]Anemone[/name_f]- this one is already in the database but is very underused.
[name_f]Artemisia[/name_f]- I’ve included this one because many don’t know that this is a flower!
Aubrieta- one of the easiest to wear of the names I’m listing and I’m surprised we don’t see it more.
Bergenia- clunky-cute.
[name_f]Calendula[/name_f]- possibly a bit too much of a mouthful for a first name but could make for an interesting middle.
[name_f]Clary[/name_f]- for clary sage, I could even see someone use [name_f]Clary[/name_f] [name_u]Sage[/name_u] in total as a double barrel or as a first and middle.
[name_f]Daffodil[/name_f]- this is another one already in the database but it is supremely underrated.
[name_f]Gardenia[/name_f]- equal parts clunky and frilly, gardenias are gorgeous and among the top of the list for fragrant flower choices in the garden.
Hepatica- I think this is a workable alternative to [name_f]Patricia[/name_f] for those that like the vintage nickname [name_f]Patty[/name_f]/ [name_f]Pattie[/name_f].
[name_f]Malva[/name_f]- reminiscent of names like [name_f]Alma[/name_f] and [name_f]Melba[/name_f].
[name_f]Marguerite[/name_f]- also a linguistic variant of [name_f]Margaret[/name_f], marguerites are a vibrant daisy-like flower. I’ve certainly seen this in the forums but usually as a middle name consideration and even then, it seems to get very little attention.
Mirabilis- a little bit [name_f]Mirabel[/name_f], a little bit [name_f]Amaryllis[/name_f], this name for a vibrant Peruvian flower that means, “wonderful” could make a very striking middle.
[name_f]Pearly[/name_f]- for pearly everlasting flowers.
Sanvitalia- very frilly but doesn’t feel princessy and has a lot of nn potential.
[name_u]Senna[/name_u]- wild senna is a gorgeous, bright flower that is popular with hummingbirds and bees.
Thunbergia- probably a guilty pleasure in just about all cases, but I wonder if there’s someone out there just waiting to fall in love with this strong choice.
Torenia- a gorgeous flower that can get to nickname [name_f]Tori[/name_f] if [name_f]Victoria[/name_f] isn’t your speed.
[name_f]Tulip[/name_f]- often thought of as too cutesy but has received a little more attention in recent years.
[name_f]Verbena[/name_f]- this one is of course already in the database, but is sorely overlooked.
[name_f]Virginia[/name_f] [name_f]Bluebell[/name_f]- as a combo, denoting a very specific trumpet/horn shaped variety of bluebell. A lovely nature name choice for someone who is maybe looking to have a familiar or classic first name but is bored with [name_f]Rose[/name_f], [name_f]Lily[/name_f], [name_f]Violet[/name_f], and [name_f]Iris[/name_f].
[name_u]Yarrow[/name_u]- one I recommend from time to time. I honestly hope it starts seeing more use.

What are some obscure flower names that you can think of? What ones do you find wearable, which ones are strictly guilty pleasures?
I would love to expand this list further.


I was just looking at flower names and came across [name_f]Cleome[/name_f] aka spider flowers. I think it sounds cute and has the fun nn [name_f]Cleo[/name_f].

I see this one more often on here but I really love [name_u]Larkspur[/name_u]. :heart:


Love [name_f]Malva[/name_f] - reminds me of [name_f]Malka[/name_f] (Hebrew for queen) and [name_u]Alva[/name_u] which I keep hearing. [name_f]Anemone[/name_f] is so funky, I could totally see it.
I love [name_u]Yarrow[/name_u] and I think it would be really cool for a boy or girl.

Flower names I wish I heard around:
[name_f]Gladiola[/name_f] (I think a little “Gladdie” would be precious)
Rhododendron (it’s a lot but love [name_f]Rhoda[/name_f], [name_m]Rhodes[/name_m])


Obviously [name_u]Hyacinth[/name_u], though honestly I prefer [name_f]Jacinthe[/name_f]. Both are gorgeous

Obviously [name_f]Chrysanthemum[/name_f]

Some of these are mentioned on Nameberry but I have never spotted one in the wild
I love:

[name_f]Amaranth[/name_f], Amaranthe, [name_f]Amarantha[/name_f]

Some other fun ones:
Hellebore, “[name_u]Halle[/name_u]”

For boys I love [name_u]Campion[/name_u]
I could also totally see Crocus working


I really like Aubrieta, [name_f]Tulip[/name_f], [name_f]Jonquil[/name_f], Lobelia and [name_f]Gardenia[/name_f]!

Picotee is one i like

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I adore both [name_f]Daffodil[/name_f] and [name_f]Jonquil[/name_f] – long-time gps of mine! And how adorable is [name_f]Clary[/name_f] [name_u]Sage[/name_u]!

I’d add [name_f]Peony[/name_f], another gp of mine and I think it would make such a sweet name, and [name_f]Gelsomina[/name_f], the Italian form of [name_f]Jasmine[/name_f] which I think is so gorgeous. :slight_smile:

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Ones on my actual list:

Ones I would love to use, or if vetoed by SO (many of these have been vetoed), play with:
Lobelia (I love Lobelias. I have a native variety in my butterfly garden)

Ones I want others to play with/use:
[name_f]Clary[/name_f], Clarysage, [name_f]Clary[/name_f] [name_u]Sage[/name_u]
[name_u]Senna[/name_u] (I know one)
Torenia, [name_f]Tori[/name_f]
[name_f]Virginia[/name_f] [name_f]Bluebell[/name_f] (so sweet)
[name_u]Yarrow[/name_u]!! I totally agree this should see the light of day!

Berries should use in combos for fun:

Sanvitalia (I agree on nickname potential)

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@whatchamacallit I can’t believe I forgot [name_u]Larkspur[/name_u]! [name_f]Cleome[/name_f] is an interesting choice too. I could definitely see it appealing to someone looking for a non frilly botanical option.

@nameaddictmadison I love that you mentioned [name_f]Gladiola[/name_f] because Gladiolus definitely occurred to be as a masc floral name option.
Thank you for reminding me of [name_f]Edelweiss[/name_f], [name_f]Aster[/name_f], [name_f]Freesia[/name_f], [name_f]Lilac[/name_f], and [name_f]Chamomile[/name_f]! Astilbe is very interesting and Hibiscus and [name_u]Hyacinth[/name_u] also occurred to be as masculine options (since the [name_u]Hyacinth[/name_u] flower was named for [name_m]Apollo[/name_m]'s lover, Hyacinthus.)

@hyacinthbucket oh [name_f]Jacinthe[/name_f] is a lovely variation!
What a terrific list. I completely forgot [name_f]Forsythia[/name_f], [name_f]Amaranth[/name_f]/e/a, and [name_u]Thistle[/name_u]. [name_f]Camellia[/name_f] when I made the list felt like a fairly recognized name to me but now that I think about it it really is very uncommon.
Hellebore is definitely a gp of mine but I wasn’t sure anyone else would even go so far!
[name_u]Betony[/name_u]/Betonica, Helianthe, [name_f]Celandine[/name_f], Euphrasia, Gentiana, Lathraea, [name_f]Robinia[/name_f], and [name_f]Scilla[/name_f] are all so interesting and fun! Alpenrose, funny enough, is the name of a dairy co-op in my region so it’s harder to picture as a name on a person due to that association, but I fully see the appeal. I think that one could even make for a cool masculine option (similar to [name_m]Ambrose[/name_m] or [name_u]Penrose[/name_u].)
I think Campanula was the name of Lady Tottington in [name_u]Wallace[/name_u] and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit? I could definitely see it being used for a real person.
I also love [name_m]Balsam[/name_m] for a boy! It’s on the masc list I’m working on.
I appreciate your breakdown of the list and opinions on which names can be worked with realistically.

@Greyblue oh [name_f]Picotee[/name_f] seems so sweet!

@elanorelle yes I think both Daffodil and [name_f]Jonquil[/name_f] are lovely! I’d honestly be willing to consider either as middle names, and [name_f]Daffodil[/name_f] I’d even consider for a first if it wouldn’t be such a mistmatch with my other names.
Wow [name_f]Gelsomina[/name_f] is honestly so pretty! It’s funny but I like most variations of [name_f]Jasmine[/name_f] more than [name_f]Jasmine[/name_f] itself. [name_f]Yasmin[/name_f]/ [name_f]Yasmina[/name_f], [name_f]Jessamine[/name_f], and now [name_f]Gelsomina[/name_f]!


You underestimate me. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Absolutely like [name_u]Penrose[/name_u]!
One of the farms where I get raw goat milk is called [name_u]Dandelion[/name_u] Knoll… that could make a good combo.

Yes I remember her. She first endeared me to the name.

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@hyacinthbucket [name_u]Dandelion[/name_u] Knoll 110% sounds like something we could find on a Nameberry forums user card.
How is goat milk? Always wondered. I don’t care for cow’s milk and I love chevre so I’ve always thought it might me worth a try.

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Aww I love [name_f]Marguerite[/name_f]. Alyssum, [name_f]Artemisia[/name_f], [name_f]Clary[/name_f] and [name_f]Pearly[/name_f] are nice as well :slight_smile:

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@penelope_lynson honestly the more I think about and say Alyssum, the more I like it. [name_f]Pearly[/name_f] used to read as all nickname to me but now that the image of pearly everlasting comes to mind when I think about it, I see it in a more substantial light.

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Definitely worth a try. I only like raw cow’s whole milk. Raw anything is way better tasting. I also far prefer goat and sheep cheeses to cow, so if you’re anything like me you’d probably like it. It is also great to cook and bake with (obviously not raw anymore) and I make yogurt for the kiddos.

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I really like [name_u]Yarrow[/name_u]

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Somebody mentioned Lithodora on the recent “What’s your favourite flower name?” thread and I absolutely love it. I’d never heard it before, but I love the sounds. It reminds me of [name_f]Isadora[/name_f] and [name_f]Theodora[/name_f] but with the soft, whispery “Lith” beginning it feels almost ethereal.

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I saw that too and and I love it! [name_f]Isidora[/name_f] is one of my favorite feminine names and [name_m]Theodore[/name_m] is my son’s middle name, so it’s not surprising that I liked Lithodora instantly.

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Keep in mind these are unusual in the sense that they aren’t in the top 1000, but you’ve probably heard of some of these before.

On my actual list:
[name_u]Lupine[/name_u] ([name_f]My[/name_f] absolute favorite.)
[name_f]Forsythia[/name_f] (Would be a nice way to honor my mom. Because it’s for [name_f]Cynthia[/name_f]. If you don’t get it say it aloud a few times.)
[name_f]Gladiola[/name_f] ([name_f]My[/name_f] grandmother’s nickname was [name_f]Gladiola[/name_f]. Her real name was [name_f]Gladys[/name_f], but she hated it.)
[name_f]Aster[/name_f] (Personally I like this better for boys, but it looks like I’m a minority.)
[name_m]Hawthorn[/name_m] (I personally like this best for a boy, but if I met a little girl named [name_m]Hawthorn[/name_m] I would think that was kind of cool.)
[name_f]Marigold[/name_f] (I’m shocked that this one has never been in the top 1000.)

Others that I appreciate:

I also once had a co-worker with a granddaughter named [name_f]Calla[/name_f]-[name_f]Lily[/name_f].

I think [name_f]Marigold[/name_f] is really starting to pick up steam. I see a lot more people considering it now, though still mostly as a middle name. I suspect sometime in the next 5 or so years we’ll see it finally crack into the charts.

One thing I love about botanical names is seeing the way different people interpret them, one key way being what gender they prefer a name for.

Like [name_f]Aster[/name_f] is generally read as feminine (but could totally see it working for a boy) while [name_u]Oleander[/name_u] and [name_u]Lupine[/name_u] are some of my favorite masculine options.

Thank you for so many great additions. I can’t believe I missed [name_f]Wisteria[/name_f] and [name_f]Belladonna[/name_f], and I even mentioned [name_f]Amaryllis[/name_f] in my post but didn’t actually include it on the list. :woman_facepalming:

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Yeah, [name_u]Lupine[/name_u] is definitely feminine to me, but mostly because it would crush me not to use it for a daughter. But I can see it for a boy too. [name_u]Oleander[/name_u], [name_f]Bryony[/name_f], and [name_u]Betony[/name_u] I could actually use for either a boy or a girl.

I’m not surprised that more people are looking at [name_f]Marigold[/name_f], I’m just surprised it took so long! I wouldn’t be surprised if [name_f]Lavender[/name_f] showed up on the charts in five years either, but I’m very bad at predicting that kind of thing.

And I just thought of some more:

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So I may have just spent about two hours reading the Plant Index of my Grandma’s Book for Gardeners from 1970 :rofl: :star_struck: (I would probably only admit this in the safe name loving space that is Nameberry!!)
These are the plant names that caught my eyes and ears. I couldn’t tell you whether they’re all flowering plants, there may be a few ferns and such which have snuck in here…

Acaena (a-see-nuh)
Aralia (I like this more than [name_f]Aurelia[/name_f], although I think some people PN [name_f]Aurelia[/name_f] this way??)
Araucaria (ara-care-ee-uh)
Cacalia (kuh-kay-lee-uh)
Celsia (first sound is ‘ss’)
Cobaea (koh-bee-uh)
Davalia ([name_m]Dave[/name_m]-all-eye-uh)
Dicentra (die-sen-truh)
Eucharis ([name_m]Yew[/name_m]-cah-riss…too close to Eucharist?)
[name_f]Ismene[/name_f] (Iz-meen)
Kniphofia (Niff-oh-fee-uh…I think this may be my favourite… It’s like a very unique version of [name_f]Sofia[/name_f]. It’s so sweet and obviously a tad ridiculous, which never puts me off!!!)
Lavandula ([name_f]Lavender[/name_f])
Liatris (lie-uh-triss)
Malope (looked up the PN and it said [name_u]Mal[/name_u]-oap, but of course we shall say it rhyming with Pelnelope)
[name_f]Nolana[/name_f] ( :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:)
Nymphaea ([name_f]Nim[/name_f]-fay-uh)
Oenothera (first sound is ‘ee’)
Oxaliss (ox-[name_f]Alice[/name_f])
[name_f]Wistaria[/name_f] :star_struck:
Zantedeschia (zant-eh-desk-ee-uh)

And now I’m going to have a little nap… :sweat_smile: