Rebecca Schreiber wanted a baby name that was feminine but not "over-the-top girlie." Her husband, Terry, wanted a name with modern flair. She couldn't warm up to his picks (Tessa, Layla), and he wasn't too happy about hers (Audrey, Charlotte).
In the end, the Schreibers found a fresh, floral name they both could love.
And they weren't the only ones.
"Our doctor delivered a baby the week before Violet was born, and her name is also Violet, so when we call to make an appointment -- even though it's a small doctor's office -- if I say it's my daughter Violet who's 8 months, it doesn't work," says Schreiber. "We have to say her last name, too."
Schreiber, a teacher who knows two young Lilys and an Ivy and considered naming her daughter Willow, is part of a burgeoning botanical baby name trend.
Plant-based baby names for girls overall are on the rise, and 10 previously low-profile botanicals -- Lily, Violet, Willow, Hazel, Ivy, Iris, Olive, Dahlia, Juniper and Azalea -- have risen rapidly.
These 10 fast-rising names, call them the new botanicals, were given to a total of 19,500 baby girls in 2012 -- more babies than received the No. 3 girls' name, Isabella (18,900), according to data from the Social Security Administration.
And while the new botanicals are leading the charge, they are only part of the story.
Celebrities are pushing the envelope with names such as Poppy (Anna Paquin), Maple (Jason Bateman) and Clover (Neal McDonough). Perennials such as Jasmine (No. 85) continue to perform well. And botanicals overall have been rising steadily since 2000, according to Laura Wattenberg, creator of The Baby Name Wizard (www.babynamewizard.com).
"There's a garden of wildflowers now -- they're all over the place," Wattenberg says. "And we are kind of at the highest point in botanical use (since the 1930s), with one big exception: What was the single biggest botanical name craze in American history? I never would have picked it: It was Heather in the 1970s."
Among the testaments to Heather's chart-skewing power: The 1988 indie film called "Heathers," a dark comedy in which the three coolest girls in high school are all named Heather.
Inspired by nature
Today's botanicals have benefited from renewed interest in nature and the environment, says Jennifer Moss, founder and CEO of BabyNames.com, and many of the new botanicals have benefited from another trend as well.
"People are picking names like Olive and Violet and Scarlett that are very feminine but that kind of hold their own. You can grow up with the name," Moss says.
There's no parallel botanical trend with boys' names, Wattenberg says, although a nature name, Canyon (No. 1,462), has had some recent traction.
Lily, the No. 16 girls' baby name in America in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration, is now America's top botanical, but names such as Violet (No. 89), Willow (No. 171), Hazel (No. 175 and the recent choice of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski for their baby) and Ivy (No. 187) also beat the traditional favorite, Rose, which is at No. 261. Nine of the new botanicals are at their highest ranks since 1960, and the 10th, Lily, reached its all-time high of No. 15 in 2011, before dropping to No. 16 in 2012.
Five of the new botanicals -- Willow, Ivy, Dahlia, Juniper and Azalea -- are at their highest ranks ever, and Violet is at its highest rank since 1924.
Fresh, but familiar
Wattenberg says parents increasingly want original names -- ones that are fresh and stand out -- but they don't want names that sound "made up."
One solution is to choose a name that's not traditionally a first name, but that's familiar and easily recognizable: a place name such as Brooklyn, a surname such as Harper or a botanical name such as Lotus.
At the website Babycenter.com, where parents recently weighed in on whether to name a baby girl Sage River or River Sage, the list of suggested floral names includes Calla, Laurel, Hyacinth and Marigold.
Not all parents pick botanicals for their freshness. Danielle Green of Cadott, Wisconsin, says she and her husband, Danny, named their 3-month-old daughter Violet for Danielle's maternal grandmother.
"She's always been in my life, and she's been a very important part of my life, so we wanted to honor her and show her how much she means to us," Green says.
Allison Smaistrla and her husband, Brian, chose the name Violet for their 3-month-old daughter for many reasons, among them that it's distinctive and edgy, and that it reflects their love of nature.
"I feel like it's popular to be environmental these days, so it's only natural that the natural names would be coming back," says Smaistrla, who knows a 7-year-old Lily, a 5-year-old Rose and a 2-year-old Rainbow.
Smaistrla also notes that baby names that were popular in the early 20th century (think Lillian, Hazel and Emma) are being rediscovered, and Violet is part of that generation of names.
"Everything comes back, eventually," Smaistrla says.