Flowers have long influenced the way we decorate our homes, plan our weddings, and name our children. Names like Rose, Daisy, and Lily have remained in the top baby name category for years, and they don’t seem to be experiencing much of a decline. But what we don’t hear about as much are the rare baby names that are climbing the popularity ranks.
New baby names pop up all the time, and many of them are chosen for their unique meaning or personal story. In recent years, as the Kardashian family has been growing, their selection of never-heard-before baby names has introduced new ideas and questions of why we choose the names we do. Kim’s third child, Chicago, was named after her father’s hometown and it started a conversation about baby names. The sky's the limit when it comes to choosing one you like, and nature is an ideal place to find the inspiration.
For those of you who love flowers as much as we do, we’ve compiled this list of our seven favorite baby names inspired by flowers. Because if we’re going to name our kid something that’ll stick with them (until they can legally change it), the name might as well be one of elegance, joy, or wisdom.
Iggy Azalea at the Austin City Limits Music Festival
The azalea flower is well-known for its meaning of elegance, wealth, and passion. Entering the Social Security list for the first time in 2012, this is one of the newer additions to the list of baby flower names. A celebrity who flaunts this flower name is Iggy Azalea, the Australian rapper and songwriter, whose birth name is Amethyst Amelia Kelly. In 2018, Azalea ranked #510 in terms of name popularity.
The Dahlia, symbolizing gracefulness and inner strength, was the most popular garden flower of the 19th century. Since then it has spread its influence to cities like Seattle and San Francisco where it is now the official city flower. In 1963, it was named the national flower of Mexico. Ranking #410 in popularity in 2018, this botanical name is showcased by Dahlia Ravikovitch, the Israeli poet and peace activist.
Floracracy founder Sarah-Eva Marchese and her daughter, Delphie
This gorgeous flower, used to communicate joy and encouragement, symbolizes openness to new experiences and overall positivity. Originally stemming from a Greek word, “delphis,” meaning dolphin, the delphinium bud is shaped like a dolphin’s nose. In fact, Floracracy’s CEO, Sarah-Eva, named her daughter Delphine after this stunning flower (which is perfect, because this baby truly exudes joy). And a cute name to consider if you’re thinking about this name is Delphi. Reaching its peak popularity in the 1920s, today Delphine is #1105 out of 4276 names.
Leilani is not necessarily a flower, but it has a memorable floral-based meaning. Stemming from Hawaiian origins, Leilani means “heavenly flower.” Breaking down the linguistics of the word even more, “Lei” means flower and “lani” means sky, heaven, and royal. Ranking at #120 due to an increase in popularity, this name is still so unique that there aren’t many famous people named after it...yet. Your kid could be one of the first!
Existing for 80-100 million years now, magnolias evolved to become the queen of spring flowers. They symbolize beauty, purity, and dignity. While the Magnolia Farm, owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines from the HGTV series Fixer Upper, is not a person’s name, it has a special story behind it. Magnolia trees have been tied to the Gainse’s businesses and traditions since Chip and Joanna’s first date when Chip climbed up a magnolia tree to pick a flower for Joanna. As a part of their ongoing family tradition, they continue to plant magnolia trees. The name ranks #314 in the United States and is featured by a character in the TV show, Hart of Dixie.
This vivid yellow flower means “the golden flower.” Rightly so as they love the sun, attract bees and other pollinators, and protect gardens from nasty critters. During the Middle Ages, marigolds were seen as love charms for people who wanted to attract someone. The name Marigold has been especially popular in children’s books like Magic for Marigold, Once Upon a Marigold and Marigold in Godmother's House. The name also makes an appearance in a character in Downton Abbey as the daughter of Edith Pelham and the late Michael Gregson. In 2018, the name Marigold ranked as the 1,417th most popular name for girls.
Little girl holding a sage bundle
The name Sage, meaning wisdom, entered the list of top baby names in the 1990s, and can be used for either gender. Known for its healing qualities and clearing spaces of negative energy, the Native Americans burned sage ritually for centuries. With its name popularity ranking at #307 in 2018, notable celebrities who have been named after the herb include Sage Rosen (a dancer) and Sage The Gemini (a rapper), whose birth name is Dominic Wynn Woods.
The same way we name our children after flowers, new plant genuses are named after people who inspire us. Lady Gaga’s trendsetting fashion influence led 19 fern species to be named after her. According to Karl Leif Bates, Director of Research Communications at Duke University, “At one stage of its life, the new genus Gaga has somewhat fluid definitions of gender and bears a striking resemblance to one of Gaga's famous costumes.” Not only did Gaga’s style give reason to name the fern after her, but the DNA sequence literally called her name as it contained the word GAGA in it.
Lady Gaga when interviewing for her Super Bowl performance
Other famous celebrities such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Yves Saint Laurent, and Barbara Streisand all have roses named after them. So whether you’re named after a flower, or are famous enough to have a new flower species named after you, it is suffice to say that flowers still rank in the top baby names category because of their meanings. What are the most meaningful names to you?