Trying to find some whimsical nature baby names? Nature-inspired names are becoming very popular and there are so many amazing choices.
Here I’ve pulled together a list of some of the most playful, earthy nature baby names. There is something for everyone here. So whether you prefer vintage baby names or truly unique and rare baby names, I’m sure you’ll find some new ideas to add to your list.
Picking a baby name can be really challenging. You realize all of the strange associations you have with different names and frequently they’re at odds with your partner’s. We also have tips to help you figure out a baby name you’ll both love (read them here).
You’ll see that for many of the baby names on this list, I also include information on the name’s popularity (based on the U.S. stats). Some of these nature names are pretty unusual, kind of weird, and super rare. I swear they are all really used as names.
This can also help parents who want a name that isn’t too common. I’ve heard many parents complain that they thought the name they chose was rare only to find out later, when there are a bunch of other kids in their child’s class with it, that it was actually very popular.
There’s also lots of gender neutral names listed below. When it comes to nature names, there are no gender rules, even for the more gendered names you’ll find exceptions.
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So for fun loving parents, here are the best, whimsical nature baby names:
Whimsical Nature Baby Names For Boys
Adler – German for eagle, this strong name is on the rise and broke into the top 1000 names for the first time ever in 2020.
Alder – For Alder trees, this name is rare and has never reached the top 1000.
Bear – Obviously for the animal, this name is rising in popularity!
Birch – For the Birch tree, this is a very rare name and has never been in the top 1000.
Bracken – For the fern plant, your child is unlikely to meet another with this extremely rare name.
Branch – For the part of a tree, you won’t meet many others with this rare baby name, though there is a character on the TV show Longmire with it.
Brooks – Meaning “of the brook” this name has been steadily rising in popularity over the last 20 years and recently broke into the top 100 boys names.
Canyon – Thinking grand? Canyon is a rare name and has not reached the top 1000 yet.
Cedar – For the Cedar trees, this strong name is pretty rare and hasn’t ever hit the top 1000 names, but it appears to be increasing in popularity.
Clay – Though it has risen and fallen in popularity, Clay has maintained a spot in the top 1000 names for over 100 years. This solid name might be a goldilocks for parents looking for something not super common, but not too unusual.
Cliff – Cute on its own or Cliff could be short for Clifford or Clifton. It has fallen out of favor, dropping from the top 1000 names in the 1980s and hasn’t returned, but perhaps it’s time for a comeback.
Colt – For a young male horse, Colt rose fast in popularity and has been in the top 200 names for the past 4 years.
Coyote – For the animal, of course, this is a very uncommon first name and you won’t find it in the top 1000 or probably in your kid’s classrooms.
Craig – Meaning “from the crag” or rocks, Craig was quite popular and maintained a spot in the top 100 boy’s names from around the 1950s to the 1980s, but has been falling since and slipped out the top 1000 names in 2017.
Drake – For a male duck, Drake surged in popularity and broke in the top 200 names in 2010 and has been falling since then.
Falcon – Obviously for the bird, this strong name is super rare.
Finch – For the songbird, this fairly common last name also makes a cute and much more uncommon first name.
Flint – For the hard quartz stone, Flint broke into the top 1000 boy’s names in 1959 and 1960 and hasn’t returned.
Forrest – Or the less common spelling, Forest, this name got a bump in the 90s from the movie Forrest Gump, but fell fast. It’s seen a resurgence in the past 10 years though and is moving back up the rankings and sitting in the top 500 names since 2019.
Fox – For the obvious animal, Fox first popped into the top 1000 names in 2016 though it is by no means a common name.
Fraser – Could be for the fir tree or the Scottish association with strawberries, this name and its spelling variations Frasier and Frazier are rare in the U.S. (Fraizer made it into the top 1000 names for 5 years in the early 1900s). However, Fraser is very popular in Scotland.
Frost – For the icy weather, this is a fairly common last name. Surnames as first names seems to be trending, so we might see the name Frost get a boost though it is currently extremely uncommon.
Gavin – Meaning “white hawk” or “white falcon” depending on who you ask, this name rose fast in popularity and peaked at #30 in 2008. It has fallen a bit since but is in the top 150 baby names making it fairly common still.
Hawk – This strong animal name is also very rare, as is the alternate spelling Hawke. Not surprisingly, you won’t find it on the top baby names lists, so your child is likely to be unique.
Kale – If you like the vegetable of the same name, Kale had a brief surge in popularity peaking in 2008 and has fallen back out of the top 1000 names.
Lachlan – Meaning “from the land of lakes” this name and the alternate spelling, Lochlan, have been rising in popularity over the last several years.
Oren – Meaning “pine tree” this classic name was solidly in the top 1000 for most of the twentieth century, but is currently very uncommon.
Onyx – For the gemstone, Onyx just broke into the top 1000 boy’s names in 2018 and is on the rise!
Pike – For the fish, this name is super rare.
Reef – Another rare baby name, Reef has a fun, surfer vibe.
Ridge – Ridge is rising in popularity, having hit the top 1000 names in 2015, though still not overly common.
Rook – A rook is a type of crow, though it also has other meanings including the chess piece and to swindle. It has a strong feel, but is very rarely used.
Silas – Meaning “forest” or “woods”, Silas aas really taken off in popularity and reached the #100 in 2020.
Slate – For the rock, this strong baby name is extremely rare.
Stone – Another strong name that is not very common.
Thorn – This prickly name is super super rare, so your child won’t have to worry about meeting many others. It’s more common as a last name which fits the last name as a first name trend.
Tiger – Animal names are trending, so this name might become more popular.
Talon – While not overly popular, Talon has fallen in the top 1000 baby names since 1990.
Wolf – Also spelled Wolfe, this name fits the animal trend, but is not very common… yet.
Woodrow – Meaning “row of houses by a wood,” this name was once fairly common (peaked in 1913 thanks to the president), but has really faded. It’s currently quite rare, but the nickname Woody might be putting off some parents.
Whimsical Nature Baby Names For Girls
Amaryllis – This name for the popular flower is beautiful though it has never cracked the top 1000 names in the US, so it could be a great choice for parents who want something very unique.
Amber – For the gem-like resin or the warm color, this name peaked in popularity in the 1980s and has been on the decline.
Aurora – Whether for the Northern Lights or its meaning of “dawn” this beautiful name has skyrocketed in popularity. It broke into the top 100 names in 2015 and kept climbing!
Autumn – This seasonal name is fairly popular and has been in the top 100 names since 1997.
Birdie – This sweet name was more common about 100 years ago. It has become super rare, but given the trend towards vintage names it may be due for a return.
Blossom – Another old name, most popular in the 1920s, Blossom is now very rare. It fits nicely with other floral names as well as traditional names.
Brooke – Fairly popular, Brooke peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s and has been on a slight downswing.
Clementine – For the citrus fruit, this name was more common in the early 1900s, fell out of the top 1000 names in the 1950s, but has been trending up hitting the top 1000 again in 2014.
Clove – This spice name is extremely rare. The similar flower name, Clover, is a little bit more common. Both offer a great option for parents who want an uncommon name.
Coral – Often thought of as a rock or plant, coral is actually marine animals. The name has managed to slip into the top 1000 occasionally, but hasn’t since the early 1990s and is fairly rare.
Dahlia – This flower name had really taken off, climbing the ranks fast since 2006.
Daisy – For the obvious flower, this name took a steep fall in the mid-1900s, but has maintained its popularity for the past several years.
Dawn – This name was really popular in the 60s and 70s, though has actually become very uncommon.
Fawn – This name for a baby deer managed to slip on and off the top 1000 names in the 60s through 80s. It is super rare now, so your child is unlikely to run into another.
Fern – For the plant, Fern was fairly common from the early to mid-1900s, then fell out of favor. It seems poised for a comeback though, for now, is pretty rare.
Gaia – Meaning “earth,” Gaia was the name of the Greek goddess of the earth. This name is pretty rare.
Holly – For the holly tree, this name seems to have peaked in popularity around the 1980s and has been falling ever since.
Iris – A beautiful flower name meaning “rainbow” Iris is more popular now than ever before! It has been trending up the last several years.
Ivy – Another greenery used in to decorate in the winter, Ivy has really taken off in popularity breaking into the top 100 names in 2018 and still rising.
Jasmine – For the fragrant flower, Jasmine peaked in popularity in the 1990s as a top 25 name, but has fallen some since, those still staying within the top 150 names.
Juniper – For the evergreen plant, Juniper is moving fast up the baby name charts. It only broke into the top 1000 in 2011 and is rising fast!
Lavender – Despite being a well-recognized name, this purple flower name is not actually very common and perhaps surprisingly has never been in the top 1000 names.
Magnolia – This flower name was in the top 1000 for a long time, but fell off for over 70 years. It’s back and coming in hot, breaking into the top 1000 in 2013 and the top 200 in 2020.
Marigold – A lovely flower name that hasn’t really caught on yet. This name is fairly rare, but it could be ready to take off!
Meadow – This name hit the top 1000 list in 2001, but seems to have really taken off in the past few years.
Misty – Meaning “mist,” this name peaked in popularity in the late 1970s in the top 50 names, and has since fallen completely off the chart. It is currently really rare.
Opal – For the lovely gemstone (and the birthstone for October), this grandmother-style name was common in the early to mid 1900s, then fell out of favor, but has made a strong resurgence and is trending up!
Pearl – Once quite popular, Pearl fell out of fashion, but seems to be coming back!
Poppy – For the red flower symbolizing remembrance, this name is catching on fast! It seems to be trending up in a big way!
Posie – This name for a bunch of flowers, is very cute. Also spelled Posy and Posey, it hasn’t gotten the same attention as many of the other floral names yet and is quite rare.
Primrose – Meaning “first rose” for an early-blooming flower, this sweet name appears to have gotten a boost from its Hunger Games namesake, however, it is still really rare.
Rose – A historically popular name, Rose took a bit of a dip, but has been trending back up over the last 10 years. With many cute variations like Rosie, Rosalie, Rosemary, and Rosetta being a bit less common.
Ruby – This vintage baby name for the beautiful red gemstone, sure has some staying power. A consistent top 50 name for most of the early 1900s, it fell for a while, but stayed in the top 500, and has been coming back strong (again in the top 100).
Saffron – For the coveted spice, this is really uncommon though on trend with other spice names.
Sapphire – For the blue gemstone, Sapphire is also the birthstone for September. It hasn’t seen the same popularity as some of the other gemstone names, making it a great choice for parents wanting a more rare name.
Sorrel – For the plant or the reddish chestnut horse color, this name is extremely rare.
Summer – This seasonal name has moved up and down the ranks, but has consistently been within the top 300 names for the last 45 years and recently seen a bit of an uptick.
Sylvia – The name originates from the Latin word for forest. This vintage name seems due for a resurgence. It was fairly popular for the earlier part of the 1900s, but has fallen a bit since.
Winter – This name has seen a very sharp increase and is rising fast!
Zinnia – For the flower which symbolizes endurance. One of the less common floral names, it’s pretty rare.
Gender Neutral Nature Baby Names
Ash – For the Ash tree, this rare name suits boys or girls and could be a great nickname for the more popular choices Ashton or Asher (very popular for boys).
Aspen – For the Aspen tree or Colorado resort town, this gender-neutral name is much more common for girls (and rising quickly).
Basil – More common for boys, though quite rare for both, this name means king, though you may choose it for the obvious association with the herb. The name is usually pronounced differently though, rhyming with dazzle.
Briar – Meaning a “thorny patch” this name only hit the top 1000 a few years ago, but it is rising fast for both boys and girls!
Cove – Referring to a small bay, this gender-neutral name is perfect for parents who want something super rare.
Cypress – For the Cypress tree, this name is fairly uncommon though would fit either boys or girls.
Dale – Meaning valley, Dale is more common for boys than girls, but has really fallen out of favor. It hasn’t been in the top 1000 names for girls since 1971 or the top 1000 names for boys since 2009.
Ember – Bringing to mind the glow of a fire, this name has risen in popularity fast for girls over the last 10 years, but it makes a cute, though very rare, name for boys too.
Glenn – Meaning “valley”, the double n spelling has generally been more common than the alternate, Glen. Both were fairly popular for boys for most of the twentieth century, but have fallen out of favor and off the chart. For girls, Glenn is way less common and hasn’t been in the top 1000 names in over a hundred years.
Harvest – With very few babies named Harvest, your child is unlikely to share their name. It’s been slightly more common for girls, but honestly, with numbers so low, it’s extremely rare for either gender.
Hazel – For the hazelnut tree, this name is very popular for girls and very rare for boys. For girls, Hazel was common for many years, then dropped off, but has come roaring back. For boys, Hazel was somewhat common (on and off the top 1000 names) through 1940, but hasn’t been back.
Jade – For the gemstone, this name is quite popular for girls, and way less common for boys.
Kai – Meaning “sea” this name is much more popular for boys and recently broke into the top 100 boys’ names.
Kit – Bringing to mind a kitten, this name could be short for Catherine or Christopher, but also stand-alone nicely. A bit more common for boys, Kit hasn’t cracked the top 1000 names since 1958. For girls, the variation Kitty spent many years in the top 1000 names, but fell off the chart in 1967.
Lake – This name is very rare for both boys and girls. The variation, Laken, is actually a bit more popular, though still very rare.
Lark – For the bird, this name is super rare for girls and even a bit more rare for boys. About equally rare is the variation, Larkin.
Laurel – For the bay laurel tree used to make laurel wreaths. Laurel is much more common for girls and extremely rare for boys.
Linden – For Linden trees, this name is fairly rare, though a bit more common for boys than girls. Linden managed to get into the top 1000 boy’s names for a few years in the 1940s, but hasn’t returned. The alternate spelling, Lyndon (like the president), was heavily favored for boys and spent many years in the top 1000 boy’s names, though it fell off in 1990.
Lynx – This big cat has caught parents’ attention, though not too many as it is a super rare baby name for boys or girls.
Oakley – Though Oakley was once more common for boys and is increasing in popularity for both, it has really skyrocketed up the rankings for girl’s names.
Ocean – A rare name, though a little more common for boys, it is trending up and just broke into the top 1000 boys’ names in 2020.
Rain – A rather rare name, Rain is a bit more common for girls than boys, however, the alternate spelling Rainn seems equally uncommon for both.
Raven – Much more common for girls, Raven has been in the top 1000 girl’s names for over 40 years. It is very rare for boys.
Ridley – Can refer to a “cleared wood” or a species of sea turtle, this name is uncommon for either boys or girls.
River – River is shooting up the ranks fast for both boys and girls and is within the top 200 baby names for both!
Robin – For the bright songbird, this classic name has been waning in popularity and is fairly rare at the moment (just barely staying in the top 1000 names for both) though roughly as common for boys as for girls.
Rowan – For the rowan tree, this name has really taken off in popularity. It is a bit more common for boys than girls, especially the less popular, alternate spelling, Rowen.
Sage – For the spice, this name is a bit more common for girls than boys, but has been rising in popularity for both!
Seneca – The name Seneca is associated with several geological locations, such as caverns, rocks, a lake, river, and creek. It is also the name of a Native American tribe as well as the name of a Roman philosopher, though many may think of the Hunger Games character. Seneca is very rare, though was slightly more common for boys and briefly made it into the top 1000 names from 1976 to 1980.
Skye – This light name is more popular for girls with the Skye spelling in the top 500 names and Sky in the top 1000, though neither spelling makes the chart for boys. Skye also makes a sweet nickname for the very popular Skylar (which has been in the top 100 girls name for nearly 10 years, though this spelling fell out of the top 1000 names for boys in 2019) and Skyler (this less common spelling has been slowly falling for boys, but still well within the top 600 names for both boys and girls).
Solstice – For the summer and winter solstice, this super rare name seems slightly favored for girls. Your child isn’t likely to run into another kid with this unique name!
Sparrow – A very rare name, but slightly more common for girls than boys.
Storm – A fairly uncommon name, Storm did crack the top 1000 boy’s names for a while in the 1990s. It also offers the cute nickname, Stormy.
Sunny – This bright name is much more common for girls when spelled with the u, while the o spelling, Sonny, is almost exclusively used for boys. Each is in the top 1000 names respectively and rising.
Timber – This cute name is pretty rare for both boys and girls.
Wilder – On a hot streak, Wilder hit the top 1000 boy’s names in 2015 and is rising incredibly fast! It makes a cute name for girls too, but us much less common.
Willow – For the willow tree, this name is way more popular for girls (in the top 50 names the last couple years) and very rare for boys.
Wren – For the songbird, Wren is much more popular for girls. It has been steadily climbing the girl’s ranks over the last several years, but has yet to come close to the top 1000 boy’s names.
Zephyr – Meaning “a light breeze” or “west wind,” Zephyr is more common for boys, but pretty rare overall.
Zion – Nature lovers may like Zion for the National Park, but it is also steeped in religious importance referring to Israel, Jerusalum, and Heaven. The name has taken off in popularity for boys, falling within the top 200 names since 2017. It is still fairly rare for girls.
The data on name popularity came from the Social Security Administration which has a great name search tool.
If you didn’t find quite what you were looking for or just want some more baby name inspiration, check out my list of Literary Baby Names (read it here) and Christmas Inspired Baby Names (read it here).
So there you have the best, whimsical nature baby names for boys and girls! Did I miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!