Catchy Plant Names: 7 Plants That Stir Emotion

By Susan Albert | April 4, 2020
Image by Susan Albert
by Susan Albert
April 4, 2020

Did you ever see a plant with a name that conjured up something familiar to you, causing an emotional response to the plant? Of course, then you just had to buy it!

I think hybridizers try to come up with clever, catchy plant names for their new introductions, then other times they are named for a famous person/place/thing or someone in their own family. Some names are real duds like the iris ‘Clarence.’ What a lackluster name for such a lovely blue-violet and white flower. Hybridizer Lloyd Zurbrigg has cool names for his other irises, among them the white rebloomer ‘Immortality.’

Plants with Meaningful Names

If you’re on the prowl for some new additions for the garden, then plants that stir emotion in some way will surely fit the bill, provided they are hardy in your region. Here is a list of plants that struck an emotional chord with me when I saw the name, then clinched an impulse shop.

  • ‘Abbey Road’ Tall Bearded Iris – Everyone who loves the Beatles should have this stunning iris plant in their repertoire. It’s a creamy yellow and white iris with prolific, billowy blooms.
  • ‘Route 66’ Coreopsis – “Get Your Kicks on Route 66″ is the famous song for the historic Mother Road that touches parts of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Businesses along the pop culture icon are now tourist attractions. This coreopsis cultivar sports bright yellow flowers with red splashes of color, befitting the moniker ‘Route 66.’
  • ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental Lily – Who can forget the tear-jerker love story of Ilsa and Rick in “Casa Blanca?” One of the most beloved films of all time, “Casa Blanca” is immortalized in a large, pure white, trumpet-shaped lily. One of my all-time favorite movies, I had to possess the fragrant lily.
  • ‘Golden Delicious’ Salvia – The aptly named cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’ features leaves with the same chartreuse color as the juicy, crisp Golden Delicious apple, which brought a flood of childhood memories back to me when I saw the name. 
  • ‘Grandpa’s Girl’ Miniature Tall Bearded Iris – The flower is cute as a button, but even more appealing is the name because it made me think of two of my nieces, Amy and Kristi, who indeed were “grandpa’s girls.”
  • ‘Jurassic Park’ Tall Bearded Iris – The bicolor iris reminds me, not only of the blockbuster film by the same name, but the friend who shared the rhizome with me. Its striking canary-yellow and lavender-purple frilly blooms are a standout in any garden. 
  • ‘Grim Reaper’ Daylily – I did a double-take when I saw the creepy name of this daylily at a nursery in Yukon, Oklahoma. Turns out the nursery owner, Bob Scott, is also the hybridizer. I wish I had asked him about this curious name for a red and yellow daylily. Perhaps it’s the toothed edges.
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