The use of flower names for girls in the English-speaking world can be traced back to the Romantic period of the 18th and 19th centuries, which brought about a renewed interest in nature and its beauty.
The delicacy and vibrancy of flowers became symbols of female grace and beauty. This cultural shift towards appreciating the beauty of nature influenced the emerging popularity of flower names for girls during this time.
By the Victorian era (1837-1901), there was a fascination with Floriography ("the language of flowers"). Flowers were assigned specific meanings, and young people would use them to communicate forbidden feelings and emotions through floral arrangements and bouquets. Think of Floriography as a primitive form of Snapchat.
By the turn of the 20th century, Rose, Daisy and Violet were Top 100 favorite female names. The enduring appeal of flower names persists today. Here are the most common Female Flower Names in America right now, in order of popularity:
#1 The Ever-Faithful VioletAs of 2022, Violet is ranked #20 most popular girl's name in the country
"Though she be but little, she is fierce." — A Midsummer's Night Dream
This famous Shakespeare quote applies perfectly to the delicate and unassuming nature of the violet. Despite her small size, the violet possesses a quiet strength and remarkable resilience - don't underestimate this modest, little flower.
The dainty little violet that faithfully returns each spring has long symbolized true and everlasting love.
Symbolism: modesty, faithfulness, remembrance, everlasting love
#2 The Bold & Beautiful Lily
Lily is currently ranked #30 most popular girl's name in the country
"Like a Lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters." — Song of Solomon 2:2
The beauty and grace of the lily sets it apart from its surroundings; it stands out amidst the crowd. The lily flower is often seen as a symbol of purity and innocence. In many mythologies and religious traditions, lilies are considered sacred, associated with goddesses, deities, or divine figures. Lilies have a rich history in art, literature, and folklore, often representing concepts like love, fertility, rebirth, and spirituality.
Symbolism: innocence and purity
#3 The Stunning & Elegant Iris
Iris is currently ranked #84 most popular girl's name in the country
“Thou art the Iris, fair among the fairest, / Who, armed with golden rod / And winged with the celestial azure, bearest / The message of some God.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Iris comes from the Greek word for "rainbow," a perfect name for the stunning and captivating flower known for its variety of colors and breathtaking blossoms (found in over 200 species). Iris was the Greek rainbow goddess, a messenger between the gods and mortals. The name "iris" was subsequently adopted as the common name for this beautiful flower, reflecting its colorful petals and the mythology surrounding it. This is a flower that embodies grace, vibrancy, and a touch of mystery.
Symbolism: valor, wisdom, grace
#4 The Love Flower: Rose
Rose is currently ranked #120 most popular girl's name in the country
“Of all flowers, methinks rose is best.” — William Shakespeare
The rose has been cultivated and admired for over 5,000 years, and it holds a precious place in various cultures and traditions. Its beauty, fragrance and symbolism have made it a cherished flower across different civilizations throughout history. A favorite flower of poets and romantics, the rose speaks of love in a language known only to the heart. According to Greek mythology, the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, gave the rose its name in honor of her son Eros (“love”) by rearranging just one letter of his name.
Symbolism: love, in all forms
#5 The Charming Little Daisy
Daisy is currently ranked #125 most popular girl's name in the country
"Like a wildflower, she spent her days allowing herself to grow, not many knew of her struggle, but eventually, all knew of her light." — Nikki Rowe
This quote beautifully captures the essence of the daisy as a symbol of resilience, simplicity, and hidden strength. Like any wildflower, the daisy thrives in various environments and, despite her challenges, she continues to grow and radiate her brightness out into the world. The daisy's charm lies in its simplicity and unpretentious nature.
Symbolism: innocence, childhood, happiness
#6 The Large & Showy Magnolia
Magnolia is currently ranked #151 most popular girl's name in the country
"Like a gentle giant, the magnolia stands tall and proud, its elegant blooms whispering secrets of beauty and grace." — Unknown
This quote encapsulates the awe-inspiring presence and timeless beauty of the magnolia flower. It compares the magnolia to a gentle giant, highlighting its imposing stature and commanding presence in the botanical world. The reference to the magnolia's elegant blooms suggests a sense of refinement and delicacy. The quote portrays the magnolia as a bearer of hidden wisdom and beauty, inviting us to appreciate its majestic qualities and the secrets it holds within its captivating blossoms.
#7 The Sweet-Smelling Jasmine
Jasmine is currently ranked #178 most popular girl's name in the country
"Ah, the jasmine, so fair, / I'd seek it far and near, / In the garden and the air, / On the earth and sky so clear." — Rumi
Jasmine comes from Persian and Arabic meaning “fragrant flower,” referring to the sweet perfume produced from the flowering jasmine (the flower's name entered the English language in the 16th century, when jasmine was first introduced to England). Native to the subtropics of Asia, the jasmine flower was highly valued in the ancient cultures of the Old World, especially prized for its subtle beauty and intoxicating aroma. It is also said to evoke peace and tranquility and attract love and wealth.
Symbolism: sweetness, modesty, charm, grace and beauty
#8 The Dahlia: A Burst of Sunshine
Dahlia is currently ranked #280 most popular girl's name in the country
"The dahlia you brought to our isle / Your praises forever shall speak; / 'Mid gardens as sweet as your smile, / And in color as bright as your cheek." — Thomas Moore
This beautiful garden flower of the sunflower family is named after an 18th century botanist, Anders Dahl, from a Swedish surname meaning “valley” (coincidentally, the lovely Dahlia is often called the “valley flower” because it is native to the mountainous valleys of Mexico and Guatemala). The Dahlia flower was long-cultivated by the Aztecs before the Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe in the 1500s. Prized for its beauty, the Dahlia is a symbol of the eternal bonds of commitment in matters of the heart (as such, it is often the flower of choice for weddings). The Dahlia is not only the national flower of Mexico, but she is also the official flower of San Francisco, California.
Symbolism: elegance, dignity, inner strength, commitment, eternal love
#8 The Poppy: A Burst of Beauty
Poppy is currently ranked #338 most popular girl's name in the country
"In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row..." — John McCrae
The poppy is a bright, colorful, happy-looking flower, evolving from Olde English popæg, from Latin papaver “poppy,” from the root *pap- “to swell,” in reference to its “swollen” blooms, bursting with beauty. Evidence suggests the poppy flower was first cultivated c. 4000 BC by the Sumerians who called it Gil-Hul “joy-plant.” In fact, few flowers played such a vital role in all aspects of ancient life due to its magical medicinal properties (thanks to the sedative effect of the plant’s sap). The poppy serves as a symbol of very deep emotions, particularly that of imagination, and peaceful, dreamy sleep. It's the traditional remembrance flower for soldiers who lost their lives in war and it’s also believed to promote beauty, success and luxury.
Symbolism: dreamy state of being, sleepiness, remembrance
#8 Azalea: Take Care of Yourself
Azalea is currently ranked #404 most popular girl's name in the country
"While Azaleas blush in rosy grace, / Their secrets whispered through petal's lace, / In gardens fair, a beauty rare, / A fragrant verse, nature's tender embrace." — Unknown
One of the plant kingdom’s most popular, the azalea flower was first categorized and given its name by the famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in his first book, Systema Naturae (1735). Linnaeus coined the name from the Greek αζαλεος (azaleos) meaning, quite simply, “dry, to be dry,” because the azalea thrives in well-drained, sandy soil. The lovely spring-blooming azalea is native to Asia, Europe and North America (there are festivals around the globe dedicated to the blooming of azaleas). This one-stem flower is known for its beauty, volume and richness of color, and is therefore quite popular in floral arrangements and gardens. In many cultures, the lovely azalea has come to symbolize femininity, new romance and passion as well as fragility. It is also often referred to as the “take care of yourself” flower and the “return to home” flower.
Symbolism: temperance, fragility
#9 The Lucky Clover
Clover is currently ranked #755 most popular girl's name in the country
"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery." — Emily Dickinson
Clover is the name of a three-leafed plant with dense flowers, from Olde English clæfre “clover.” Boasting 250 species, clover is a legume of the genus Trifolium “three-leafed”. This wild, hardy, freely growing and abundant plant has long been used for bee attraction (its sticky sap is a prolific source of honey) and livestock feed (in fact, cattle fattened by the delicious clover gave rise to the phrase “to be in clover,” meaning “to live well; to have a carefree and prosperous life”). However, the clover is most recognized for its symbolism: its three leaves are said to represent faith, hope and love, while the rare quatrefoiled (“four-leafed”) clover is said to bring good luck.
#10 The Golden Marigold
Marigold is currently ranked #833 most popular girl's name in the country
"Marigolds are for the matches we strike, igniting our courage in the darkest of nights." — Amanda Lovelace
Marigold is the name of a bright and cheerful flower, from Olde English seint mary gouldes, literally," St. Mary’s Gold." The popular name of several plants with golden, bright yellow or orange flowers, the British called the French Marigold the “Rose-of-the-Indies”. In Spain, the flowers were the favorites to be placed on the altar of the Virgin Mary. Eventually they became known as "Mary's Gold" and hence, marigold. Marigolds were often linked to the powerful strength of the sun and represent the powerful light that lives inside of a person. In India, the plants grew to have religious significance and became known as the Friendship Flower.