Botanical Boy Names

Botanical names are common for girls- Rose is a classic, Lily is in the top 30, and names like Iris and Violet are making a comeback. But botanical names are rarer for boys, especially names associated with plants that aren’t trees. I’ve compiled these botany-related names that I think could work for boys.

Yarrow- If Arrow can be a boy’s name, why not Yarrow? It’s easy to spell and has an appealing sound including the –o ending that is so common for boys’ names.

Ren- This unisex Japanese name can mean either “lotus” or “love.” Wren is gaining popularity for girls, but I see no reason that Ren couldn’t work for boys.

Aloe- Like Yarrow, Aloe has a masculine sounding –o ending, this time coupled with Al, a common beginning for both boys’ and girls’ names.

Anthony- okay, so this one is cheating. Anthos is the Greek word for flower, and while Anthony isn’t related, it could be a subtle nod for plant-loving parents looking for something more traditional.

Chrysanthos- “Chrys” is Greek for “golden,” so combined with anthos, this name means “golden flower.” It may be a bit much as a first name, but Chris is an accessible nickname. Chrysanthos could be a good way to simultaneously honor a Christopher and Anthony for parents with both names in their family tree.

Castor- Castor is a mythological name and a star, but castorbean is the name of the plant from which castor oil is derived. The plant name is unrelated to the mythological figure. With the rising popularity of –or/er names for both genders and the approachable nickname Cas, Castor could catch on.

William- The William flower, or “sweet William,” is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. The edible flower is popular as an ornamental plant.

Lei- Hawaiian for flower, Lei is unisex and found as a part of many other names. It’s a simple, well-known word that rhymes with more familiar boys names Ray, Taye, Jay, and Grey.

Kale- Kale and its variant spellings (Cale, Cael, Kael, and others) have fallen in recent years, probably due to the rising popularity of the vegetable. But names that can be shortened to Kale, like Kalen and Caleb, remain popular.

Florian, Florus, Fiorello- These names, literally meaning “flower,” share a root with the feminine Flora. One famous bearer is Fiorello Laguardia, the 99th mayor of New York City who lent his surname to one of the three major New York City airports.

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