Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

15 Irish language flower names to enjoy today

There’s something quite captivating about Irish language flower names. They’re constructed in such lyrical and delicate ways that often it’s simply beautiful to just hear them spoken out loud.

Here are 15 Irish language flower names for you to enjoy:
1. Lus an Chromchinn – Daffodil

‘Lus’ refers to a plant itself and ‘chromchinn’ is a grammatical form of ‘chromcheann’ which means a bent or a bowed head.

2. Bainne Bó Bleachtáin – Cowslip

‘Bleachtáin’ is a grammatical form for ‘Bleachtán’ which then comes from ‘Bleacht’ for juice. And thus, this is broken down as ‘the juice of the milk cow’. Interestingly enough though, this phrase has been used to describe the buttercup (Sean-Chaint na nDéise) or both the cowslip and buttercup (Dinneen’s Dictionary).

3. Caillichín na Trá – Yellow horn-poppy

‘Caillichín’ has a few different meanings. According to Teanglann, it can mean a ‘little old woman’ or a ‘precocious girl’ or even a knot in timber or a cane! This flower is also known as a ‘sea poppy’ hence the connection with the beach.

4. Plúirín Sneachta – Snowdrop

This name in Irish for ‘snowdrop’ captures the delicate nature of the flower itself.

Beautiful Irish language flower names
5. Coinneal Oíche – Evening Primrose

Translated as the candle of the night (‘coinneal’ meaning candle), this stunning yellow flower can be found places like quarries and on sandy soil.

6. Cam an Ime – Buttercup

The Irish for butter is ‘im’ and ‘cam’ according to Dinneen’s famous dictionary relates to a small vessel or cresset. Another translation for buttercup is ‘crobh préacháin’ (crow’s claw).

7. Caisearbhán – Dandelion

This is one of the most common ‘weeds’ in Ireland but did you know that it is edible too? Check out my video below on how to make dandelion cordial.

8. Nóinín – Daisy

This flower’s name is also used as a girl’s name. Máire Zepf’s young adult book is a great example of this in use.

9. Feirdhris – Dog Rose

‘Dris’ means ‘bramble’ or ‘briar’ and the wild dog rose has a long history of being cultivated as a medicinal herb.

10. Goirmín – Pansy

Though pansies come in different colours, one of the most striking is the blue ones, hence ‘goirmín’, ‘little blue’.

11. Magairlín – Orchid

Did you know that Ireland has around 30 native species one of which, the Western Marsh Orchid, is unique to our country?

12. Cloigín Gorm – Bluebell

This gorgeous blue flower’s name in Irish is reemphasised by ‘cloigín’ which is a small bell. ‘Gorm’ simply means ‘blue’.

13. Méara /Meoir Mhuire – Kidney Vetch

Translating as ‘Mary’s fingers’ this is probably a religious reference to Mary the mother of Jesus. This plant is commonly found by the seaside.

14. Lus na mban sídhe – Foxglove

Be warned, this flower is incredibly poisonous. ‘Lus’ refers to a plant itself and the genitive version we see here refers to the ‘bean sí’, a particularly wicked type of spirit! Foxglove is also known as ‘lus mór’, ‘sídhean sléibhe’ and ‘síodhan sléibhe.’

15. Sabhaircín – Primrose

We’ve already seen the Irish for evening primrose but this one is quite different. As noted above, ‘Bainne Bó Bleachtáin’ has also been used for this pretty flower (as well as cowslip) which makes sense as they are in the same flowering family, the Primulaceae.

Did you enjoy this list of Irish language flower names? Have a go at hearing them by clicking the synthesiser here. For this list, I cross-referenced between 4 dictionaries as well as books such as the incredible Flóra Chorca Dhuibhne.

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I'm a freelance content creator, author, and journalist who has a strong desire to share interesting content about Irish people and things about Ireland at home and abroad. I am constantly curious.

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6 thoughts on “15 Irish language flower names to enjoy today”
  1. Well done Una Minh…
    These are lovely I am transported somewhere else..
    And thank you for doing some good in the world,
    Maureen

  2. Dear Una-Minh
    I wonder if you can help , ..I am looking to find a plant called Rud or Roid in Irish ..
    it was used by the wool dyers and apparently a delicate plant to cultivate so was grown in beds of good soil ..sadly that is all I have to go on ..but would love to know what the plant was ..

    with thanks Rosamund

    1. Rosamund, you may also want to try investigating bedstraw (Gallium boreale) roots and madder (Rubia tinctorum) roots. These two plants are both in the Rubiaceae family. There is an article on The Woolery’s website, “Information on Natural Dyes,” (Provided by Lynn Voortman – Blue Castle Fiber Arts) that lists these plants as providing a red dye. Don’t know if these are native to Ireland, but bedstraw appears to have a wide distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. This next article describes dyes used during the age of the Vikings: “Colors, Dyestuffs, and Mordants of the Viking Age: An Introduction” by Carolyn Priest-Dorman. Interestingly, the author describes some research that found reds *from madder or bedstraw” in pieces of ancient cloth, some of the samples from Dublin.

  3. Never kiss the Blarney Stone. Aside from the germs of millions of people kissing it, in days past, it served as a URINAL. That is truly gross and disgusting.

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