Nature-inspired baby names have been in fashion since the floral name trend of the late 1800s. These names are beautiful and strong at the same time, and we’re sure they’ll be just popular for a long time to come.
Aurora comes from the scientific name for the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis. Aurora is an ancient name—the Roman Goddess of sunrise is named Aurora, and she’s a character in an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem. The popularity extends to more current references, with the princess in Sleeping Beauty and one of the main characters in Terms of Endearment.
This one doesn’t have a ton of history as a name, but there have been plenty of Azaleas (the exotic pink flowering bush) born in the last five years, thanks to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. Pronounced “A-Zay-Lee-Ah” (it can also be spelled Azalia), nicknames include Zaylee, Lea, Zal and Azzy.
This name can be pronounced “Dahl-ya” and “Dal-ee-a.” Sophisticated and elegant, Dahlia is a big-blossomed flower and means “valley dweller.” Variations include Dalla, Dalilah, Dalia; sweet nicknames are Doll, Dahl, Dollie. Influences include supermodel Sophie Dahl, and Dahlia Rae, Gail Simmons’ daughter.
Popular since the 1890s, there was a resurgence of babies named Daisy (the white flower, of course) in the ’90s and 2000s, thanks to the film version of TV show The Dukes of Hazzard (Daisy Duke) and a Daisy character on Nick Jr.’s Oswald. It’s associated with purity and innocence, and it’s a nickname for Margaret in France (daisy is “marguerite” in French). Influences include Daisy Boo Pamela, Jamie and Jules Oliver’s daughter.
The flower is said to symbolize eloquence, but we love its Greek origin: Iris means “rainbow” and Iris was the mythological Greek goddess of the rainbow. (It’s also, of course, the bluish-purple colour.) It can also be spelled Iriss and Irys, and sweet nicknames include Irie, Rissy, Eye and Ris. Influences include Iris Law, daughter of Sadie Frost and Jude Law; Iris Apatow, daughter of Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow; Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “Irises.”
Named after the plant, Ivy calls to mind old English gardens or the prestigious buildings of the Ivy League. It’s an old name that was popular in England in the early 1900s, but it has been rising in modern popularity since the mid-1990s, with a spike in interest after Beyonce and Jay-Z named their daughter Blue Ivy in 2012.
Yes, she was Aladdin’s feisty love interest in the 1990s Disney classic, but the aromatic flower dates back to ancient Persia. Other spellings and variations include Jasmin, Jazmine, Jazmin, Jasmyn, Yasmin, Yasmine and Jessamin; call her Jazz/Jas, Jazzy, Minnie, Jay. Influences include Jasmine Mickael Jordan, Michael Jordan’s daughter.
One of the most popular nature-inspired baby names, it’s often seen as a symbol of purity. It spiked in popularity in the early 2000s (though it’s still a popular choice in the United Kingdom). The name can also be spelled Lilie, Lilly and Lillie, and variations include Lilian and Lilith. Cute nicknames are Lil, Lee and Lee-Lee. Influences include Lily-Rose, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis’ daughter, and Lily Collins, Phil Collins’ daughter.
These flowers are full and bright, and sometimes referred to as “herb of the sun.” Lots of nicknames work, including Mari, Goldie, Margie, Maggie, Mar, Gold. Variations include Marygold, Maragold and Marrigold. Influences include Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Magic for Marigold, and Lady Edith’s secret daughter on Downton Abbey.
From the flower we associate with Remembrance Day, the name Poppy is really hot right now (and not just for Grandpas—yes, we know there are Poppies out there). Not only is it sweet and girly, but it’s definitely spunky and hip. Nicknames include Pop, Popsy, Pip, Pops, Pepper. Influences include Poppy Honey Rosie, daughter of James and Jules Oliver, and actress Poppy Montgomery has four daughters named Lily, Daisy, Marigold and Rosie.
This name is actually derived from the name Josephine. A small bouquet or bunch of flowers, usually tied together with ribbon, Posey (also Posy and Posie) is trendy in England. It can be used as a nickname for Penelope. Several celebs have the surname Posey, including actress Parker Posey and actor Tyler Posey.
This nature-inspired baby name name was originally a girl’s name, but it has since moved to a unisex option. This unique nature name is associated with spring showers and rainbows, and though it’s risen in popularity over the past few years, it’s still fairly low on the charts. If you’re the kind of The Office superfan who already has an “It is your birthday” banner ready for baby’s birth, Rainn, after star Rainn Wilson, is a variation you might want to consider. Other common variations are Rayne and Reign.
You can’t go wrong with a classic, right? Hugely popular in the early 1900s and most commonly associated with love and friendship, Rose has a ton of variations: Rosie/Rosy; Roseanne; Rosa; Rosemary; Rosalind; Rosetta; Roselynn, etc. Influences include Actress Rose McGowan; River Rose, Kelly Clarkson’s daughter; Sunday Rose, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s daughter; Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck’s daughter.
Summer became popular in the 1970s, and it’s maintained its popularity among nature-inspired baby names ever since with parents looking for a laid-back vibe that calls to mind lazy summer days, vacations and the beach. Zooey Deschanel played a Summer in (500) Days of Summer, and Rachel Bilson was Summer Roberts in the O.C. Related names are Autumn and Winter.
Originally published in August 2018.