Meaning: “Fire lily.”
Nicknames: Elda, Eddie, Lilja, Lila, Lily
Detail: From the Old Norse elements eldr meaning “fire” and lilja “lily”
Meaning: “Linnaea flower.”
Pronunciation: (lih-NEY-ah); (LIH-nee-ah)
Nicknames: Leah, Nea, Naya
Detail: From the name of a flower, also known as the twinflower.
It was named by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who named it after himself, it being his favourite flower.
Meaning: “Bringer of death; Destoyer.”
Nicknames: Sephy, Seffy, Poppy, Phee, Effy, Posy
Detail: As the story goes, one day in the valley of Enna, where spring reigns eternal, Persephone was innocently picking flowers. Hades, god of the underworld, saw her and it was love at first sight. He came charging in his chariot into the valley and snatched her away.
Demeter finally persuaded Zeus through adamant pleading, to demand for her daughter back from Hades. Hades agreed to return Persephone as long as she had not eaten anything from the underworld. (There is a permanent bond for those who consume food in the Underworld; they are bound to it eternally.) However the sly Hades, who fancied Persephone to pieces, duped her into snacking on a few pomegranate seeds.
This caused some intense arguing, but Zeus, being the crafty old mediator that he was, came up with an agreement by which Persephone could stay with Demeter in the spring and summer to help out with the botany business and then go back down to live with Hades for six months or so, creating a season for nature to take time off, winter break.
Demeter has never been satisfied with this, and that is why winters are so gaunt and cold. So you can thank Hades for when you have Jack Frost nipping at you.
Meaning: “Sapphire; blue; color of the sea.”
Nicknames: Nee, Neeli
Detail: Neelakurinji is a plant that used to grow abundantly in the shola grasslands of South India. The Nilgiri Hills, which literally means “the blue mountains”, got their name from these purplish blue flowers that blossoms gregariously only once in 12 years.