Splendid Flowers Named After Famous Indians

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians

Namaskar Desi Gardeners! Did you know that there is a very beautiful tradition to name a new flower plant after a renowned person as a tribute? This is quite common in the West where several celebrities, scientists and leaders have been dedicated with a new kind of rose or flower. Let us see in India about those plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute.

Most of these dedicated flowers are mainly roses, as is the common tradition. In the list below, majority of these plants have been created by Indian breeders. The roses are not only beautiful but also full of fragrance. These are our national assets. I would love to have some of these in my garden.

Roses and Flowers Named After Famous Indians

Lal Bahadur Shastri Rose

This beautiful red rose has been created and named after one of the greatest leaders of India, Shree Lal Bahadur Shastri. I saw this cultivar in full bloom in the rose garden of AHSI, Kolkata. The Agri Horticultural Society of India is one of the oldest and biggest horticultural gardens in Asia. For a plant lover like me, it is a paradise.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

I heard that the Lal Bahadur Shastri Rose cultivar was bred and named by Swami Vinayananda of Belur Math, who was a rose enthusiast and an expert gardener.

Rose Pranab Mukherjee and Mrs. Suvra Mukherjee

Two rose cultivars named after the former President and Lady grace the gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Pranab Mukherjee rose is bright yellow and Mrs. Suvra Mukherjee rose is a graceful shade of pink.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Both the roses were bred in 2017 by Pushpanjali Nursery in West Bengal. Presently, one could see these blooming in the Mughal Gardens inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Rashtrapati Bhavan gardens attract nearly 8 lakh visitors every year.

The Pranab Mukherjee Rose and Mrs. Suvra Mukherjee Rose are some of the most popular flowers named after famous Indians.

Jawahar and Pandit Nehru Rose

Jawaharlal Nehru was a great rose enthusiast. He encouraged horticulture and especially rose breeding in India. We often see him wearing a deep red rose on his jacket. The Teen Murti Bhavan, which was the Prime Minister’s residence had a beautiful rose garden. Nehru is said to have plucked his own rose every day and tucked it in the third button hole of his attire. When he went to visit the Kennedys in the US, the President and the First Lady presented him with a red rose from their own garden.

An orange-scarlet floribunda rose has been bred and named after him by India’s pioneer rose breeder, B.S. Bhattacharjee.  It is called Pandit Nehru and it graces many gardens across India.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Another cultivar Jawahar, a creamy-white large sized rose was raised in 1980 by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). It makes a good bedding flower. You can see it blooming at the Rashtrapati Bhavan garden.

There are also roses and other flowers named after famous Indians like Mother Teresa, Rajendra Prasad and CV Raman which can be seen in the Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy Rose

Raja Ram Mohan Roy had been one of the greatest social reformers of modern India. To honour the contributions he made in uplifting our society, master rose breeder B.S. Bhattacharjee dedicated a bronzy apricot floribunda rose cultivar after him.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Although this variety has been grown in many places across India, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Rose is a rare plant to get hands on.

JRD Tata

JRD Tata’s contribution to India has not been limited to industry. He was an explorer, aviator, philanthropist and inventor among many. Three roses have been named after the Bharat Ratna recipient till date.

In 1982, a beautiful dark red rose was dedicated to this wonderful personality. It was named as the Flying Tata and is pursued not only for its long-lasting beauty but also for its scent.

Jamshedji Tata is another amazing rose cultivar named after the industrialist. It is a hybrid tea rose bred after him in 1981. It is a gorgeous bloom with purple and pink large flowers.

A third called the Pioneering Pilot was bred in 1982 with purple and red shades. It has a strong fragrance making it one of the most amazing flowers named after Indians.

Homi Bhabha

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Climbing Dr. Homi Bhabha is a climber rose introduced in 1975 after the great scientist. The flowers are very large with up to 60 petals. It is a hardy plant that can survive extreme weather conditions making it one of the most special flowers named after Indians.

BP Pal

Benjamin Peary Pal was one of the leading agronomist and plant breeder in India. He dedicated his life to crop and plant research. His contributions for disease resistance on plant crops have saved many farmers and their produce.

He was also an avid rose lover and breeder. He wrote the classic book The Rose In India and penned several more editions. He founded the Rose and Bougainvillea Societies of India and the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding. He was honoured with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.

Gulab-e-Pal, a hybrid tea variety dedicated to BP Pal was bred in 1985. It is a mauve-coloured rose variety sought after for its large double petalled structure. The rose garden at Indian Agricultural Research Institute is also dedicated to him.

Raja Surendra Singh of Nalagarh

Nalagarh is a beautiful Himalayan region situated around Himachal Pradesh. It was ruled by the Chandela Rajputs since 1100 AD. The kings of Nalagarh had a keen sense of aesthetics and a recognition for art.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Dedicated to the last King of Nalagarh and his beautiful fort, a hybrid tea rose bred in 1977. It is beautifully hued in pink, orange and salmon. The plant has large double petalled flowers that last for a long time. Raja of Nalagarh is one of the most gorgeous flowers named after famous Indians.

Nur Jehan

Queen Nur Jehan, who is said to be previously known as Anarkali, was the love of Mughal king Jahangir.  As the empress, Nur Jehan was a powerful woman with her many faceted talents.

Among all the flowers named after Indians, the Nur Jehan Rose is one of the most demanded. Bred in 1980 by IARI, it is a pink coloured, very large blooming hybrid tea rose. The rose is highly scented due to which it is so popular.

Indira Gandhi

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

In 1986, two years after Mrs. Gandhi passed away, a beautiful variety of hybrid tea rose was named after her. It is called Priyadarshini. It has shades of pink and rhodamine with deeper coloured edges with a bicolour effect. It flowers plentifully all throughout the season.  It is one of the most popular flowers named after Indians.


Named after the venerated freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, this is a 1987-bred hybrid tea rose. The cultivar Lokmanya is very unique with coppery orange shade that is deeper on the reverse. Its flowers are very large and shapely.

CV Raman

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

CV Raman was one of leading physicists in the word when he won the Nobel Prize. Sir CV Raman is the rose cultivar dedicated to him. It is a pure white rose signifying the blessings of Goddess Saraswati that led him to be master in his field.

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar won the hearts of cricket lovers all around the world. To honour him, a new floribunda variety of rose was bred in 1985. The Sunil Gavaskar rose is very pretty with mauve globular buds and flowers.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel has been offered a tribute with a new cultivar of orchid. Cymbidium Sardar was presented for the first time at the Gangtok Flower Show in 2016 by the Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling. The flower show was visited by Prime Minister Modi and the tribute was made in his presence.

Thakur Ramakrishna

India’s greatest rose breeder BS Bhattacharjee and his sons created a number of envious rose varieties with heavenly fragrance at their nursery in Deoghar. One of these was the ‘Ramakrishnadeva’ dedicated to the great saint of Bengal, Ramakrishna Paramhansa. It is considered to be an outstanding variety of Indian rose.

A variety of beautiful Dahlia was named as Thakur after Ramakrishna. It was created by a Swami Vinayananda who was a monk in Ramakrishna Mission. He was one of the foremost flower experts in India creating many new cultivars.

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekanda changed the world with his wisdom. To honour the saint and leader, a new cultivar was dedicated to him. Bred in 1973, Swami is a hybrid tea rose. It is light pink in colour with large flowers.

Another variety of hybrid tea, Vivekanand was created in 1986. It has a deep crimson colour, indicating a monk’s clothing.  It has tall, long-lasting flowers.

Sailoz Mookherjea

Named after the pioneer of modern art in India, Sailoz Mookherjea Rose is a floribunda created in 1974. Just like the painter would appreciate, this rose is a mix of dazzling cadmium and orange. This beautifully coloured rose grows in clusters and lasts for a long time.

Shri Dayanand

Dayananda Saraswati was a great philosopher, reformer and leader of modern India. His teachings inspired to make many great men.

Shri Dayanand is a pink blend rose bred in 1979 and dedicated to the saint. This is a hybrid tea variety rose which has full, double flowers.

Narendra Modi

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has three flowers named after him. On his visit to Israel, he was honoured by naming a new variety of chrysanthemum after him. The flower Modi is a fast-growing cultivar which has been created in Israel’s Danziger Flower Farm.

Cymbidium Namo is a new variety of orchid in Sikkim which was named after Shree Narendra Modi. This name was offered by Sikkim’s Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in 2016 when the Prime Minister visited the famous Gangtok flower show.

A third flower, Dendrobrium Narendra Modi is a hybrid cultivar of orchid developed at Singapore. The National Orchid Garden honoured the Prime Minister by naming this flower after him during his visit in 2018.

Jyoti Basu

The Jyoti Basu Rose is a hybrid tea variety bred in 2021 by Mr. & Mrs. S. Ghosh in West Bengal. The flower is dedicated to the longest serving Chief Minister of the state.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Jyoti Basu is bright scarlet with catchy blooms placed on strong stems. The flowers are large and shapely flower with up to 40 petals. This plant is quite disease resistant.

Janaki Ammal

Janaki Ammal has been one of the foremost genetic experts in plant studies. She worked at the John Innes Horticultural Institute as an expert of expert in cytogenetics which led her to achieve outstanding contributions in sugarcane and brinjal cultivars.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Girija and Viru Viraraghavan are two famous plant breeders in India. On Ammal’s birth anniversary they dedicated a new variety of rose to her. E.K. Janaki Ammal will forever remind us of the hard work and dedication of people like Janaki Ammal who make our world better.

Swami Vinayananda

Swami Vinayananda is also known by his pen name Bhikhu Buddhadev. He wrote many books on gardening and plant care.

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Swami Vinayananda was a monk in Belur Math in Kolkata who had also spent his live in the art of plant care and gardening. He was one of the foremost experts of his time. He made many new cultivars of rose, chrysanthemum and dahlia which we can see in many gardens. His creations of hybrid plants and flowers are recorded in the international registries.

Sarojini Naidu

Saroja is a florinbunda created in 1984. It is deep cherry pink with silver. This beautiful flower is small in size. When it grows in large numbers in clusters, it is beautiful sight to behold.

APJ Abdul Kalam

President APJ Abdul Kalam was not only India’s most loved President but also an avid nature lover. During his stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Kalam ji had shown keen understanding about horticulture and the requirement for gardening for all. He expanded and added more sections to the gardens of the Bhavan. He created the ‘Spiritual Garden’ in the premises which various plants representing all religions and beliefs were grown in one place. Once you enter this garden ,you are greeted by a big Rudraksh tree and then you would find trees like Krishna Bargad, Shami, Japanese Bamboo and so many lined beautifully. We talk about unity in diversity, he did it!

Plants and flowers named after famous Indians as a tribute

Kalam ji had constructed a ‘thinking hut’ in the midst of all the calmness and serenity. He would go to this Manipuri-style hut daily, to meditate every morning and evening and reconnect with nature. It was sad to see this hut torn down for ‘restoration’ during Pratibha Patil’s term.

Botanists in West Bengal have named a medicinal plant after the President as Dryptes Kalamji. This is a new plant species found in the dense forests of Buxa and Jaldapara Forests. It is a very useful medicinal plant with miraculous healing powers. This plant found in the Lower Himalayan regions is very rare making it a critically endangered species.

Among all plants and flowers named after famous Indians, Solibacillus kalamii  is probably the strangest. NASA has named this plant after Kalam ji. Solibacillus kalamii is a type of bacteria (yes, bacteria are actually plants) which has been found on the International Space Station (ISS).

This specie is not found anywhere on earth, making it an extraordinary plant to be named after.

Flowers named after deities in India 

Arjun and Bhim , Mahadev, Shanti, , Mahadevi, gauri, , Chandrama, Sun God

The Indian rose varieties are full of fragrance and charm. It is said that the first rose varieties grew in the Himalayas.

Many unique and stunning rose varieties have been bred by rose enthusiasts in India. Some of these are so special that these are considered global assets. Rose breeders in India like to name their best cultivars after the deities and the heroes of mythology.

The brothers of Mahabharata have dedicated roses after them.  Arjun is a hybrid tea rose created in 1980. It is a tall porcelain rose with large shapely blooms. It has particularly long thick shoots. Bhim is another unique variety of hybrid rose. As the name suggests of the tall muscular character of Bhim, the Bhim Rose is very large. It has huge dark red blooms and grows vigorously. Arjun and Bhim are two popular varieties you can see in the Rashtrapati Bhavan garden.

Flowers named after deities in India Bhim rose

Named after the Moon God Chandra dev, Chandrama rose is a white beauty. A 1980-bred floribunda by IARI, it grows in clusters and lasts long. Sun God Rose on the contrast is a bright apricot yellow hybrid tea rose with large double blooms.

Janaki is a 1978 bred floribunda rose. Named after Devi Sita, this pretty scarlet rose flowers profusely.

Vaishnavi is a light red coloured hybrid tea rose. Its flowers are very big, standing tall on big stems making it very a gorgeous plant.

Named after the River Goddess, Ganga is a beautiful rose in shades of yellow and apricot. The medium sized roses are quite gorgeous in full bloom.

Gauri is a hybrid tea rose of India bred in 1985. Named after the goddess Gauri, this rose is dusky red in colour with medium sized blooms. There is another rose cultivar named after the Goddess as Mahadevi.

Named after Lord Shiva, Mahadev is a rare vermilion coloured rose. This floribunda which was bred in 1975 is a unique Indian variety.

Which one would you like to have in your garden? Tell me in the comments below.

Sources: Indian Rose By Narendra K. Dadlani, The Rose In India By B.P. Pal


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