The Name Game: Flower Power

Summer is turning to autumn but for some celebrity babies, spring is forever in the air. “There’s nothing sweeter or more feminine than an old-fashioned flower name for a girl, and celebrities — along with other baby namers — are looking at lists of botanical choices for inspiration,” according to co-founder Linda Rosenkrantz. “Lately, an interesting variety of flower names has been sprouting across the celebrity landscape, both old favorites and some that have rarely been used before.”

Clearly, the front-runners in this category remain Lily and Rose, with Lily more commonly used as a first name and Rose as a middle name. Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis were so enamored they used this exactly combination with daughter Lily-Rose, 10. Gilbert Gottfried also opted to double the flower power with daughter Lily Aster, 2. Other celebrity parents who fell in love with Lily include Lisa Hartman Black and Clint Black (parents to Lily Pearl, 8), Kate Beckinsale and Michael Sheen (parents to Lily Mo, 10), Fred Savage (dad to Lily Aerin, 16 months), Greg Kinnear (dad to Lily Katherine, turning 6 this month) and Chris O’Donnell (dad to Lily Anne, 10 this month).

Rose, on the other hand, is “without doubt the middle name of the last couple of decades,” according to Linda. It works for so many parents because it both softens and sweetens all kinds of first names, from the classic to the boyish. A few celebrity examples from the rose garden include Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s Sunday Rose, 13 months, Jon Stewart’s Maggie Rose, 3 ½, Dylan McDermott’s Charlotte Rose, 4 this month, Ewan McGregor’s Esther Rose, 7 ½, and Melissa and Tammy Etheridge’s Johnnie Rose, 2 ½.

Click below to learn which flower names are up-and-coming, and which have wilted.

Beyond Lily and Rose, there are some other botanical names gaining steam. Daisy was chosen by Meg Ryan for daughter Daisy True, 5, as well as by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver with Daisy Boo Pamela, 6, and whose other daughters are the equally flower-friendly Poppy Honey Rosie, 7, and Petal Blossom Rainbow, 5 months. Violet — a sentimental vintage name revived by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck and also used by Foo Fighter Dave Grohl — has steadily climbed the charts in recent years, while another hot new revival is Iris, as chosen by Jude Law and Melanie Brown, as well as Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann. On the other hand, Jasmine, used by Nigel Barker and others, is not as popular as it was just a few short years ago.

And now for the trailblazers! Not only are garden variety species sprouting up with increasing regularity, but exotic blooms like Geri Halliwell’s Bluebell Madonna, 3, and Rain Pryor’s Lotus Marie, 17 months, have a place in the landscape as well. Linda goes on to note that “sometimes parents choose the safer middle spot for an unusual flower name they wouldn’t necessarily pick for first place, as in Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell’s daughter Charlie Tamara Tulip, 8 months, and Tony Hawk’s 14-month-old daughter Kadence Clover.” Lastly, she points out that Willow — as chosen by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Michelle Monaghan and Dave Grohl — is a “fast rising” name, although it is a tree rather than a flower. She adds,

“The last time flowery names were this popular was at the turn of the last century — it’s taken more than a hundred years for their comeback.”

In addition to her work with, Linda has co-authored ten baby-naming books with Pamela Redmond Satran. Their newest title, Beyond Ava & Aiden, is available now.

— Missy

Which flower names do you like best? Least? Would you or did you use a flower name for your own child?

Related Articles