Interflora flowers

Flower common names

Every species of flower has its own particular botanic name that is received when it is first discovered. However, over the years many flower varieties have been granted more common names based on regional, cultural and historical influences.
Most typically common names can be generated by:

Flower appearance
Most common names are created because of the way a certain flower looks, particularly its colour leaf shape and size. Examples are the Lobster Claw (heliconia) and the snapdragon (antirrhinum) which look just the way they sound.

Legends and folklore
Others have names from legends or folklore that have evolved around a particular plant or flower. Sweet William (dianthus barbatus) gets its common name from an old folktale regarding two young lovers separated by the sea.

Country/local area
Common names can be applied to the same flowers in different places. An example is the wildflower Caltha palustri which in America is called Marsh Marigold and in England is called Primrose.

It’s worth to note that common names are not universal and can create confusion when identifying flowers; however they can give interesting insights on the different culture and traditions of the area where they are used.

Interflora has put together a list of some recognisable common flower names that you may come across on your travels, and it’s worth noting that many species of flower have more than one. For universal names, please go to our Flowers Botanic Names section.