Plant Life Balance

By any other name

Orchid, garlic, carnation – how did plants get their common names?

Sunflowers are named for their sun-like radiance, Snapdragons for their resemblance to a dragon’s snout, and Bluebells, well, that’s too easy. What about the rest? 


Also named for its jagged appearance, dandelion is an Old French translation of Medieval Latin dens leonis or ‘lion’s tooth’.

The compound Garlic means ‘spear leek’ in Old English, in reference to its spear-shaped leaves.


Originally known as a coronation due to its jagged, crown-like edges.


Widely known in Latin as rosmarius meaning ‘sea dew’, primarily because it was often found in abundance on the coast. Later named for the Virgin Mary due to similar phonetics.


Once popularly known as pensée, which is French for ‘thought’, due to its resemblance of a face with a thoughtful look. In England, it was often used as a gift which said “I am thinking of you”, often romantically.


Often used as a burnt offering by Ancient Greeks, thyme originates from two words: thuos meaning ‘sacrificial incense’ and thuein ‘to offer a burnt sacrifice to the gods’.


Through Persian, Turkish and New Latin iterations, a tulip looks like a turban.


Originally from the Latin salvia which means ‘the healing plant’ via the Old French word sauge.


With origins in Old English, daisy was named ‘day’s eye’ because during the day, its petals open to reveal a central eye.

View this post on Instagram

Erigeron annuus 🌼

A post shared by @ wildlifescapes on

More plants, more of the time, we say. Check our nursery finder to find your closest Plant Life Balance-accredited nursery.

Add comment