Women's Names That Are Inspired by Flowers and Plants

Image: At Last rose.
David Beaulieu

Many women's names are also plant or flower names.  If your wife, mother or someone else that you are shopping for bears such a moniker, was she named after the corresponding plant or flower or did her parents just like the name? Either way, a cool idea for a Valentine's Day or Mother's Day gift is to give her that namesake flower as a potted plant. Later, she can plant it outside in the garden and recall, each time she walks by it, that you were thoughtful enough to bestow it upon...MORE her on her special day.

  • 01 of 17
    Royal Candles speedwell (image) is a perennial. It looks like Blue Hill salvia.
    David Beaulieu

    A famous Veronica is Saint Veronica, a woman associated with a miracle-story. Saint Veronica is said to have wiped Christ's face with a veil during his Calvary ordeal. His image is said to have been transferred onto this cloth, which came to be known as the "Veil of Veronica," a relic not unlike the Shroud of Turin.

    In terms of plants, the genus, Veronica can take many forms. Veronica umbrosa 'Georgia Blue' is a vine-like ground cover that stays short as it sprawls across the...MORE earth. Some gardeners grow Veronica spicata 'Royal Candles' (picture) in their landscaping. It is an upright type with flower spikes (a bit like a salvia). 

  • 02 of 17
    My picture shows how gorgeous heather is when in flower.
    David Beaulieu

    You get a two-for-one deal with heather. That is because the plant, heather belongs to the Erica genus. So whether your mom is named Heather or Erica, this plant would be an appropriate Mother's Day gift for her. The example pictured is actually a winter heath (Erica x darleyensis 'Mediterranean Pink'). Heath is a boy's name.

    Heather Locklear is one of the more famous Heathers, while Erica Jong is one of the better-known Ericas.

  • 03 of 17
    Jasmine flower
    Mark Turner/ Getty Images

    What Northerners sometimes grow for a jasmine is called a "winter jasmine" (Jasminum nudiflorum). Since it's only borderline-hardy in many regions, gardeners may have to go to great lengths to protect this plant from cold. A good first step is to locate it in a microclimate, such as on the south side of a house, where temperatures are warmer than elsewhere on a property.

    Some are not content with taking that one measure to shield it from winter's fury. In addition, using 2x4s and...MORE plastic, they build a shelter for their winter jasmine. They keep it within its shelter from December to March. On warm days during this period, they lift the lid on the shelter so as not to "cook" their winter jasmine plant.

  • 04 of 17
    Picture of daphne with its white flowers. Buds on daphne start out pink but produce white flowers.
    David Beaulieu

    Whenever some hear "Daphne," they can't help but think of the character on the favorite TV sitcom, Frasier, played by Jane Leeves. Jane may be better known in some circles for her role in Hot in Cleveland (she also appeared in Seinfeld when she was quite young), but some always think of her as Daphne.

    The plant, Daphne is a shrub. It puts out clusters of flowers in spring. While the flowers are pretty, many gardeners value them much more for the divine way they smell. The particular...MORE type pictured, Daphne x burkwoodii 'Carol Mackie,' has another cool feature: it has variegated leaves.

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  • 05 of 17
    Photo of evergreen holly with berries.
    David Beaulieu

    Holly (Ilex) is not grown for its flowers, its outstanding features being its foliage and/or berries. This fact does not, however, mean that you shouldn't pay attention to holly flowers. Hollies are dioecious, so it behooves you to provide a male plant if you expect your female to yield berries. Problem is, it's not that easy to tell a male holly from a female. To do so, you have to study the flowers closely.

    Regarding our topic of women's names that are also plant or flower names,...MORE Holly Hunter probably comes to mind first for many as one of the plant's namesakes in the human world.

  • 06 of 17
    Black-eyed susan flower (image) is known for its cheer. It is a drought-tolerant perennial.
    David Beaulieu

    Susan has, of course, for decades been one of the more common women's names that are also plant or flower names. For that matter, it's been one of the more common women's names, period, for a long time. You can probably name numerous well-known Susans, both historical figures and stars in pop culture. One of the most-discussed Susans of recent years is the singer, Susan Boyle.

    The popularity of the name, Susan seems fitting, because black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is an extremely...MORE common flower. Sometimes, its ubiquitousness is held against it ("common" is, unfortunately, often equated with "not worth growing," in the gardening community). That's too bad, because black-eyed Susan has numerous good qualities to recommend it. 

  • 07 of 17
    Creeping Jenny is a chartreuse colored ground cover
    Creeping Jenny is a chartreuse colored ground cover. James Baigrie/ Getty images

    Growing this plant comes with a caveat, as explained in the article linked to here. The "creeping" in the name is a giveaway as to the viny growing habit of Lysimachia nummularia. Knowing this growth habit should readily inspire you with ideas on how to use it, including as a ground cover or at the edges of container gardens (where it can spill over the edge).

  • 08 of 17
    Whitch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) 'Orange Peel'
    Kate Gadsby/ Getty Images

    You have to be careful not to offend mom with this one. If you wish to be on the safe side, downplay the "witch" part of the name (there is, after all, such a thing as a plain old "hazel" tree). If that doesn't work and your back is up against the wall, you can always refer to the Anglo-Saxon derivation provided in the article linked to here.

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  • 09 of 17
    Water Hyacinth (image) is invasive in warm climates. In the North treat it as an annual.
    David Beaulieu

    Perhaps the most famous hyacinth flowers are two different types of spring bulb plants:

    1. Grape hyacinth (Muscari)
    2. Dutch hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis)

    But there is also a "water hyacinth" ((Eichhornia crassipes)), an example of which appears in the picture.

  • 10 of 17
    Pang Zim Yee / EyeEm / Getty Images

    The rose is an immensely popular flower. It's a symbol of Valentine's Day. Moreover, if you tell people that you're a flower gardener, many will automatically assume that you grow roses, among whatever other flowers you may have planted.

    In fact, the rose is so popular that some plants that have nothing to do with roses nonetheless bear "rose" in their name. Examples are:

  • 11 of 17
    Becky shasta daisy (image) has a gold center and white rays. It brings cheer to a yard.
    David Beaulieu

    Already mentioned have been black-eyed Susans and roses as wildly popular flowers (or dirt-common, depending on your perspective); let's add daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum) to that list. Most of us knew what daisies were before we could even spell the name. There are many types, including gerber daisies (Gerbera jamesonii). But with 'Becky' shasta daisies, you get another two-for-one deal: the women's names Becky and Daisy.

  • 12 of 17
    Easter lilies are a symbol of the Christian holiday. But they are also fragrant flowers.
    David Beaulieu

    When one speaks of flowers bearing the name, "Lily," the possibilities run the gamut from small plants such as lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) to plants large enough to stand in the back row of a flower bed without being obscured by the plants in front of them. The latter include perennials in the Lilium genus such as Easter lily (picture). For that matter, there are even aquatic plants named "water lilies" (Nymphaea). So this is a common plant name that bespeaks great...MORE diversity.

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  • 13 of 17
    weeping willow
    Mark Bolton/ Getty Images

    Willow is growing in popularity among women's names. In the plant world, willows belong to the genus, Salix and boast a far-flung distribution. Willows are well-known in landscaping in both tree and shrub form. We love the grace of weeping willow trees (Salix babylonica), for example, and pussy willow shrubs (Salix discolor) are admired as one of spring's earliest harbingers. 

  • 14 of 17
    Oriental poppy flowers (image) add zest to landscaping. The ones here are orange.
    David Beaulieu

    Like Willow (above), Poppy ranks much higher in popularity among women's names than it used to.

    Many of the most popular flowers named "poppies" belong to the genus, Papaver. The best-known species of that genus are as follows:

    • P. orientale
    • P. nudicaule
    • P. rhoeas
    • P. somniferum
  • 15 of 17
    My picture of a Batik German iris reveals how beautiful these flowers are.
    David Beaulieu

    Did you know that Iris was the name of a Greek goddess? In Greek mythology the rainbow was supposed to be a manifestation of Iris. She was messenger to the gods, although not as famous as her male counterpart, Hermes.

    Bearded iris can be among the most fragrant flowers in your landscaping. Reticulated iris can't match the fragrance of its bearded cousins is valued for its early bloom time. See more beautiful iris varieties.

  • 16 of 17
    Stella de Oro (image) daylily is popular. Some think it's overused.
    David Beaulieu

    Stella de Oro (alternate spelling for "stella d'oro") is a type of daylily (Hemerocallis). It is valued for being:

    • An early bloomer
    • A rebloomer
    • Not an overly fussy flower to grow


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  • 17 of 17
    Picture of pink crape myrtle. Lagerstroemia is the plant's Latin name.
    David Beaulieu

    Myrtle does not rank nearly as high in popularity among women's names as it used to.

    Click the link above to learn more about the plant, crape myrtle. Besides crape myrtle, there is also a ground cover named "creeping myrtle," although people more commonly call it "Vinca vine," after the genus to which it belongs.