Story and photos by Emma Oshiro
We are thrilled when customers come in with updates on their plants, but even more so when those plants have names. Charley, Martha, Walter; we’ve heard some good ones! Intrigued by this plant naming phenomenon that seems to be growing (especially among our young green thumbs) we talked to a few teens about their “monikered” plant friends.
Kaya names her plants after powerful female figures in history. Her succulents boast the names of warrior Queen Boadicea, the only Empress of Chine Wu Zeitan, and the infamous Cleopatra. A deep thinker and a young poet, it is only fitting that Kaya chose powerful and intricate names.
After careful consideration, Kaya fell in love with the names Boadicea and Melinoe and quickly named her two plants after these strong women. Ironically, Melione, named after the Greek goddess of ghosts, was dropped and subsequently died. Fortunately, Kaya continued to add to her green family, collecting plants from as far away as Kauai, continuing the legacies of the fierce women they are named after.
But, why name plants in the first place? One friend said she ‘thought it would be funny’, which we agree with: it’s hard not to crack up when telling a friend you’re heading home to water your ‘Bernard’ Another we talked to expressed a connection to nature, saying of her naming plants“… it makes them happier…” and “…plants are living things so I figure they deserve names”. One teen explained “it’s kinda like owning a pet in a way for me, since I gotta take care of them…naming them makes it more personal and forms… a connection.”
It seems that people name their plants for the same reason they name anything they care for, to show their respect and affection, no matter how wacky or funny the name might be. So feel free to tell your friends you’ve got to get home to water your Penelope and boast to your Mom about the new blooms of your Henry. Chances are, your company is heading home to hang with their plant friends too!