What plants could symbolize the names Evan and Nathaniel?
August 1, 2008 2:46 PM   Subscribe

I want to do something (maybe embroidery, maybe a tattoo, maybe plant a garden) with plants that symbolize my three children. My youngest is named Rosemary, so that's quite easy, but I am having a harder time coming up with plants that would symbolize the names Evan and Nathaniel. I've googled and had no luck. I'm looking for something that contains the names, or something recognizably similar to them in the common or botanical name, or maybe a plant that is somehow associated with those names, or... anything you can think of. And the plants probably shouldn't look odd with a Rosemary plant next to it.
posted by Shoeburyness to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
lAVENder isn't that far off from Evan, and goes very well with Rosemary.
posted by Miko at 2:48 PM on August 1, 2008

Hawthorne for Nathaniel.
posted by jamaro at 2:50 PM on August 1, 2008

Nathaniel... HAWTHORNE?? eh? eh?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:51 PM on August 1, 2008

This is the Evan Saul Echinacea flower!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:53 PM on August 1, 2008

Fig tree for Nathaniel.
posted by Science! at 3:13 PM on August 1, 2008

The name Evan is a version of the name John, so perhaps you could grow some St. John's Wort? Besides being a useful herb to treat depression -- and presumably your son makes you similarly happy -- it's also a sprightly little yellow flower.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:32 PM on August 1, 2008

I looked up the "meanings" of the names: John meaning "God is gracious" and Nathaniel meaning "gift of God", then started looking through references for the Victorian language of flowers. There's not an exact match (that I could find) for gift, or generosity, but I found:

Apple blossom: good fortune (a response to "God is gracious")

Agrimony: thankfulness (a response to "gift of God").

BUT, that said:

Why not look for something that more symbolizes your children's personalities instead of their names?

If you're stuck, perusing some listings of the language of flowers could be a fun place to start.
posted by amtho at 4:04 PM on August 1, 2008

Well, there are a few plants ending with the botanical epithet evansii or pole-evansii, most all from Africa. The only one that jumps out as something (relatively) easily found and grown is Eucomis pole-evansii; though it won't appreciate rosemary culture, and vice versa. Plus, it's actually named after a botanist whose last name was (Pole-) Evans, not Evan, so there's that. There doesn't seem to have been a botanist named Nathan... however, there is a Japanese maple variety, Acer palmatum "Nathan". It doesn't seem to be available in this country, and also doesn't grow with rosemary.

There are also birth month flowers, or you could watch for something that blooms or sprouts or turns colors on or near their birthday.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:07 PM on August 1, 2008

Maybe an evergreen tree for Evan. Do they have middle names that might be easier? Or you could just have plants for them that don't relate to our names. My sister and I each have a different type of rosebush.
posted by rmless at 7:51 PM on August 3, 2008

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