Sunday, August 24, 2014


Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Wright Photography

Here's another pretty name from the floral world that is rare as hen's teeth. So rare she's never been given to more than 5 girls in any one year in the U.S, and is pretty much unheard of. Yet if blooms with exotic sounding names such as Wisteria, Amaryllis and Amarantha are seen as attractive possibilities, why not Lisiantha?

Lisiantha (pronounced LIZ-ee-an-thah or LISS-ee-an-thah) is a variant spelling of lisianthus. I have to admit to being a bit biased when it comes to this flower - I had lisianthus in my bridal bouquet when I got married, so it has a very sentimental place in my heart. I used two different shades of purple blooms (mixed with ivory roses), but the lisianthus also comes in pink, white and blue. It's also known by its' genus name Eustoma (meaning 'beautiful mouth'), Texas Bluebell, Prairie Gentian or Tulip Gentian.

The word Lisianthus comes from the Greek words lysis, meaning 'dissolution', and anthos, meaning 'flower'. Which seems somewhat ambiguous as a meaning, although popular thought is that this translates as symbolic of an outgoing and divisive nature. Other opinions are that the lisianthus symbolises appreciation; or deeply felt romantic attachment; or even old fashioned values and sentimentality because it often grows wild as a prairie flower.

So why has this pretty bloom been largely overlooked as a name option? It's possibly because the flower itself has not enjoyed the widespread popularity that many other flowers such as the rose has had. Word among growers and florists though is that demand for this flower has been increasing over the past decade, so looks like it may be just a matter of time before lovers of this flower start putting this flower name on birth certificates.

While technically the flower name is Lisianthus, I have a feeling that variants Lisiantha/Lysiantha and Lisianthe/Lysianthe (pronounced LIZ-ee-an-thee) will be the ones to watch. Names ending in "us" tend to be mostly masculine, whereas "a" endings are popularly feminine. They feel like a fresher update of Lisandra, while or the "the" ending makes it feel like an elaboration of names like Ianthe or Xanthe. Both could make great nickname options, with other possibilities being Anthe, Antha, Liss, Lissa, Liz, Lizzie, Ann or the less obvious Sia.

Sia is actually the nickname used by the character Lisianthus in the Japanese series 'Shuffle!' 'Shuffle!' started as a visual novel, and has been adapted into video games, manga and anime. It's a great source for floral naming inspiration, as "all of the characters' names are references to flowers in some way".

Lisiantha would be a charming, different but not weird floral option for a girl today. It feels pretty and feminine; soft and lacy; with just enough spunk to be interesting and refreshing. It's the kind of name that would receive plenty of compliments, and leave people wondering why they haven't heard this name used more often. What do you think - is Lisiantha bursting with unfulfilled potential, or has she remained overlooked and largely ignored for a reason?

My beautiful wedding bouquets with purple lisianthus
Made with love by my mum ☺


  1. I was going to say you'd need to be a daring namer to use Lisiantha, but one look at your gorgeous wedding bouquets and I'm reconsidering :)

  2. You mum did a fantastic job!

    I think Lisiantha is one of those rare names that just seems spot on. It's pretty and elaborate, and just look at all the nicknames you'd get - Issie, Izzie, Iggy, Lis, Lissie, Annie, Thea, Sian, even Sia, which the Baby Name Wizard was a name to watch. I'd be mentally handing out gold stars to anyone who went with Lisiantha.