Spring is here and gardeners rejoice. Even non gardeners who can only recognise daffodils enjoy the splashes of colour popping up. But few gardeners are up to date with the important terms connected to many blooms, so here is a handy guide.

Daffodillydallying When you linger in graveyards on a sunny spring day, tiptoeing among the swathes of daffodils to read interesting gravestones.

Primulary A garden, or more accurately the totally neglected piece of ground around your home, that you attempt to improve in a panicky couple of hours when you hear your garden fanatic parents are coming on a visit. You buy a dozen ubiquitous primula and stick them in the ground. Alas, your relatives will not be deceived into thinking you have lovingly tended your garden all year.

Cyclamental An obsessive condition where the sufferer is unable to go in the greengrocers or a DIY superstore without buying several pots of cyclamen.

Heliboring is a situation viewers of Gardeners’ World may be familiar with or perhaps you have family or friends in this situation. Among the viewers’ gardens and places of interest visited each week by Gardener’s World will be an avid horticulturist who has the national collection of Aquilegia ( see Aquilegiance below ) or Hellebore. This gardener has no interest in any other kind of flower, or any interest in anything else. They do not go on holiday or even out for the day as they must patrol their acres of 3,000 varieties of gladioli or delphinium, pollinating and preening.

Aquilegiance Loyalty to one species of plant, even though you will never attain the rarefied position of owning the national collection. Gardeners with such loyalty spend their weekends and holidays visiting famous gardens and searching for their special favourites. Their Instagram account features exclusively pictures of their favourite blooms.

Campanulaship That happy state when you feel the need for no other company than your campanula. These jolly bell shaped varieties inspired Liszt to write La Campanella, though he may have borrowed a few notes from Paganini, who probably also preferred the company of flowers and who doesn’t?

La Campanella – Adam Gyorgy (2007) – YouTube

Florasaurus is the official guide to floral terms and derivatives.

24 thoughts on “Florasaurus

  1. One to add to add to your florasaurus:

    Composturing – Having half your garden filled with compost bins (including the special one for dog poo), worm farms, and a cow to produce unpasteurised milk, as well as methane for your solar battery booster.

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  2. One of my earliest jobs was picking daffodils at a bulb farm, Janet. It didn’t last long. Too much bending over all day and coming home covered in sticky sap on my clothes, arms, and hands. Hmm, maybe I’ll go to school after all.

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      1. One of the funniest parts of that was that most of my buddies had “manly jobs” like working in a mill, doing construction, driving a forklift, etc. They used to razz me so much about going off to pick flowers like some princess. 🤣


  3. These should all be added to the dictionary immediately. Including the addition of ‘Leafitis’, the condition that affects me every year when having to remove tons of Oak tree leaves that have fallen.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Yes that will definitely be added Pete, along with ‘leftleafitis’ when you didn’t pick them up in the autumn and your garden is full of soggy piles of leaves. But now it is environmentally friendly to leave leaves in situ for tiny wildlife.


  5. now I feel like I can go to the local gardener’s weekly meeting and have an intelligent conversation with them. Since the only flower I know is a rose (although I sometimes get it mixed up with a carnation), hopefully, they will just think I have an aquilegiance to roses…

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