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Plants Named After Instruments

Plants derive their names from various sources such as animals, people, scientists, eminent botanists, famous personalities and sometimes musical instruments. The colloquial names of plants are sometimes derived from musical instruments because of the appearance of the plant.
  1. Sambucus Nigra or Elderberry

    • The elderberry is also known as the Sambucus nigra. The genus name comes either from an ancient Asian harplike instrument called a sambuca, which was made from elderberry wood, or from a Greek musical instrument, a type of trombone called a sambuke, probably because the stems of the elderberry are hollow. The perennial shrub with white blossoms is used to make elderberry wines and bears edible elderberry fruit.

    Drumstick Tree or Moringa

    • The moringa plant, also called the drumstick tree, bears white flowers and long green seed pods shaped like drumsticks. Drumsticks are instruments used in a drum set. The moringa has edible leaves and its roots are used extensively in herbal and folk medicine.


    • This flowering creeping plant with the botanical name Ajuga reptans covers the ground in ornamental gardens. The plant also has the name carpet bugleweed because of the dense groundcover it provides. The plant provides effective erosion control and repels deer from entering the garden.

    Trumpet Creeper

    • Campsis radicans, or the trumpet creeper, has yellow flowers shaped like trumpets. The plant creeps along the ground and attract hummingbirds. Another plant of the same species, the trumpet vine is a climbing plant that bears trumpet-shaped yellow blossoms and attracts hummingbirds.

    Angel Trumpet

    • This small poisonous tree native to the Andean regions of South America has the botanical name Brugmansia aurea and long trumpetlike flowers. The plants add a lush appearance to a garden and the trumpetlike flowers grow to over 1 foot in length.


    • The popular garden flowering plant viola has the name of the musical instrument viola. The plant comes from the violet family and has both ornamental value and medicinal properties because the flowers, roots and leaves of the plant contain healthy vitamins and the pigment anthocyanin, which gives it its blue-purple color.

    Lyre-Leaved Sage

    • This medicinal herb with the botanical name Salvia lyrata grows wild in woods and forms an attractive part of formal and herbal gardens. The plant has tubelike purple flowers and leaves shaped like lyres. As a culinary and therapeutic herb, the plant has a mild taste. Folk medicine practitioners use the plant as a cure for respiratory ailments and cancer.