At One with Nature: The Top 160+ Nature Words in English
Have you ever dreamed about having a big garden filled with fruits, vegetables and flowers?
To grow your own garden, you’ll need to plant some seeds, regularly add water and take care of the little sprouts (baby plants) as they grow into edible (something you can eat) and ornamental (something beautiful) adult plants.
Planting and taking care of a garden is a lot like growing your vocabulary!
First, you need to find new words from vocabulary lists; this is the “planting seeds” step.
Next, you’ll need to learn the meanings of the words on your list; this is the “watering” step.
And then, you’ll also need to have fun vocabulary-building exercises. Think of this as the “sprouting” step where your vocabulary is starting to really grow.
Over time, your English vocabulary is sure to flourish if you take care of it!
The seeds we’re going to plant today are related to nature words in English.
Many of the nature words in this list are better suited for intermediate to advanced English learners, but there are plenty of words that beginner English learners can learn and benefit from, too!
Since there are over 160 words on this list, regardless of your language level, you’ll definitely pick up some beautiful nature vocabulary!
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The Best Way to Practice Nature Words in English
Long-term memory is where knowledge and vocabulary words stay for long periods. That means that once a word is in your long-term memory, you should be able to use that word a week from now, a month from now or even a year from now.
While memorizing lists of words may be a quick way to learn nature vocabulary, simple memorization doesn’t often lead to long-term memory.
To move words from your short-term memory to your long-term memory, you should make words meaningful to you.
When learning a new word, try using it in a full sentence and write that sentence down in a notebook.
In many cases, you can use several words that are related to each other to help you remember their meaning.
The bark on the branch of the pine tree is rough.
To take your practice a step further, try going for a walk in nature. As you’re walking, create sentences and descriptions of what you’re seeing.
There are bushes and a cave by the waterfall.
Better yet, write these sentences down or bring a voice recorder with you! This is a great way to use nature words and record the descriptions you’re creating to review again later.
The Top 160+ Nature Words in English
Now that you’re ready to plant and grow your English vocabulary garden, let’s look at the top 160+ nature words in English.
Aside from the actual names of plants and landscapes, it’s important to be able to describe these nouns (people, places or things) accurately.
Describing nature not only deepens your understanding and memory of these nature words, but it also allows you to paint a picture for a listener if you’ve forgotten a specific nature word.
For example, if you forget the word flower in English, you might use its description to help someone understand you.
They’re beautiful when they bloom, and they grow in the garden during summertime.
Obviously, you could use color to describe nature words, but since you probably already know the English words for colors, we’ll use your time here more wisely.
Describing Flowers, Plants and Trees
Learn the following 17 adjectives (words that describe nouns) and their meanings so that you can describe flowers, plants and trees with ease.
Lush — plants and flowers that have grown well
Grassy — used to describe meadows and fields that have a lot of grass or green plants
Floral — used to describe gardens or landscapes that have a lot of flowers
Vivid — something that’s bright or colorful
Abloom — used to describe flowers or groups of flowers that are blooming
Vibrant — something that’s bright and eye-catching
Dense — used to describe plants that are growing close together and are hard to see through because they’re so thick
Earthy — something that contains or looks like soil or dirt
Diversified — used to describe a garden or landscape that has a lot of different plants
Scarce — used to describe a landscape that has very few plants
Dry — without water
Bare — without plants
Dead — used to describe plants that are no longer living
Oversaturated — used to describe plants that have had too much water or rain
Flooded — used to describe landscapes that are covered in water due to overflowing rivers or lakes
Flowering — used to describe when flowers first start appearing on plants
Budding — used to describe the first stage of flowering
Describing Landscapes and Geological Features
The following 12 adjectives can be used to describe landscapes and geological features (things found in nature that are not plants or animals).
Hilly — a landscape containing a lot of hills
Mountainous— a landscape containing lots of mountains
Wavy — used to describe water with rough waters
Rolling — used to describe a landscape with a lot of hills that resembles (looks like) ocean waves
Stormy — descriptive of a lot of rain, lightning, thunder and wind
Misty — a landscape that has a light haze of rain in the air; oceans and waterfalls often produce mist
Frigid — extremely cold
Desolate — a bare landscape where few plants are growing
Untouched — a landscape that has not been changed by human beings
Pristine — a lush landscape that appears untouched or “picture-perfect”
Tropical — a landscape that’s warm with jungle plants and palm trees; common on islands near the equator
Arid — a dry landscape that receives very little rain
Describing Weather Conditions
The following 18 adjectives can be used to describe weather conditions in English.
Sunny — a lot of sunshine
Humid — a lot of moisture in the air
Stifling — so hot that one is uncomfortable
Gloomy — cloudy and gray weather
Rainy — a lot of continuous (ongoing) rain
Dry — little to no rain
Cloudy — a sky mostly covered in clouds
Foggy — used to describe a landscape with a lot of fog (a light cloud at the ground level)
Clear — no clouds or rain
Crisp — describing a cool temperature
Cool — slightly cold or chilly
Windy — a lot of wind
Breezy — a similar meaning to windy, but a breeze is less strong than wind
Wet — the landscape after a lot of rain
Fair — weather that’s clear and warm
Mild — pleasant or not too warm
Still — no wind
Overcast — a lot of clouds in the sky, but little to no rain
Talking About Types of Plants and Plant Parts
Now that we’ve learned how to describe nature, let’s learn about the things we can find in nature and how to talk more about them!
Small and Skinny Plants
Bush — a plant that grows close to the ground; it expands widely and has leaves
Shrub — another word for bush
Hedge — similar to bush but often trimmed to be rectangle-like; these often surround houses or are used to create a boundary or fence
Grass — a plant that grows widely in fields and meadows; it’s also common on household lawns
Moss — a soft plant that grows on rocks and trees; it looks like a green carpet
Mushroom — a fungus that grows in dark places; some can be eaten and others are poisonous
Herb — a variety of plant that’s used for flavoring food (basil, cilantro, mint, etc.) or as medicine or tea
Fern — an ancient (very old) plant whose leaves look like feathers
Reed — a plant that looks like tall grass and grows in wetlands and swamps
Bamboo — a plant that looks like long stalks of wood and grows in tropical places
Ivy — a plant with five-pointed leaves that grows close to the ground and climbs trees and buildings
Poison Ivy — a type of ivy that causes extreme itching and a rash, if touched
Main Parts of Plants
Seed — what plants grow out from
Root — the part of the plant that remains underground and absorbs water
Stem — the part of the plant that grows upward and holds the flower up
Stalk — another word for a stem
Leaf — the green part of the plant that absorbs sunlight
Petal — the colorful parts of the flower
Bud — the first stage of plant growth that’ll flower and bloom
Thorn — a part on the stem of a flower or plant that’s prickly and sharp
Branch — the part of the tree that grows out from the trunk
Twig — a small branch
Bark — the outer skin of a tree
Pretty and Common Flowers
Daffodil — a flower with small yellow petals
Rose — flowers with thorns and bright red petals; it’s associated with romance and love
Dandelion — a weed that has yellow flowers
Daisy — a flower that has white petals around a yellow top
Lily — a medium-sized flower whose petals can be all different colors
Tulip — common in many gardens, and famous in Holland; they can be multiple colors and are associated with Easter
Sunflower — a big flower with bright yellow petals and a brown top
Now that you know all the basics, try practicing your plant vocabulary!
Typical Tall Trees
Two common types of trees are deciduous and evergreen.
Deciduous trees shed (get rid of) their leaves during a specific part of the year (typically autumn/fall), and evergreen trees keep their leaves all year.
Not all trees fall into these two categories though, as you’ll see in this short list. There are actually over 60,000 types of trees on our planet!
Palm Tree — (neither deciduous or evergreen) a tropical tree with palms and sometimes coconuts (large, featherlike leaves)
Cactus — (neither deciduous or evergreen) grows in the desert with thorns or thistles (pointy, sharp spines)
Maple — a deciduous tree with three-pointed leaves
Oak — a deciduous tree with acorns
Birch — a deciduous tree with thin, white bark
Willow — a large deciduous tree with thin leaves and curtain-like branches
Poplar — a medium-sized deciduous tree with teardrop-shaped leaves
Pine — an evergreen tree with needle-like leaves and pinecones
Gardening Tools Used to Take Care of Plants
If you want to take care of your plants, you’ll need some gardening tools.
Gardener — someone who maintains a garden
Flower Pot — a container where one or more flowers grow
Vegetable Garden — a garden that specifically grows vegetables
Weed— a plant in a garden that’s not desired
Weed — (action verb) to pick and remove the weeds from the garden
Shovel — a tool used to dig in the ground
Pail — a cylindrical (circular) container for carrying water
Watering Can — a container specifically used to water plants
Shears — a tool used to cut through or trim plants
Rake — a tool used to gather trimmed plants or fallen leaves from the ground
Hoe — a single-bladed tool used to dig out weeds
Sow — (action verb) to plant seeds
Mow — (action verb) to trim the grass, often with a lawnmower
Lawnmower — the machine used to mow the lawn; it can be gas-powered or hand-pushed
Wheelbarrow — a single-wheeled cart for carrying gardening materials
Shed — a small shelter in a yard that stores gardening materials or other outdoor objects and tools
Our planet has so many beautiful landscapes!
Bay — where the sea curves inward to create a body of water with coast on three sides
Lake — a small body of water inland; lakes are often fresh water
Sea — a large body of salt water; there are actually about 50 seas in the world
Ocean — a larger body of salt water; there are five oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern
River — a flowing stream of water
Creek — a thin river
Waterfall — when water falls from a higher point (like a cliff) to a lower point
Canyon — an arid and rocky valley surrounded by cliffs
Glacier — a large expanse of ice around the polar regions of the Earth
Meadow — a large field with grasses and flowers
Forest — a landscape with dense plants and trees
Mountain — a big elevation in the Earth; mountains are often rocky, snow-covered or volcanic
Hill — a small elevation in the Earth
Plain — a flat expanse of land; plains are often grassy
Marsh — an expanse of land that regularly floods and remains saturated
Island — an expanse of land surrounded by water on all sides
Peninsula — an expanse of land surrounded by water on three sides
Savanna — an arid field in a tropical region; there are a lot in Africa
Valley — an expanse of land between mountains or hills
Desert — a dry landscape often covered in sand or rocks; not many plants grow here
Tundra —a dry landscape in cold climates
Cliff — a steep mountain-like formation; these are common along coasts
Cave — a tunnel or chamber underground
Beach — a sandy expanse of land near bodies of water
Field — an expanse of land where grasses and other plants are common
Don’t forget to practice your landscape vocabulary!
Ancient Geological Features
The word geology is a noun that means the study of the Earth and its physical processes.
This list of vocabulary also has words that describe significant events that impact human activity and are caused by the Earth.
Bedrock — large expanses of flat rocks
Sedimentary Rock — rock that’s moved by water or wind
Igneous Rock — rock that’s made directly from lava or magma
Metamorphic Rock — sedimentary or igneous rocks changed by extreme heat
Crater — a large, circular hole or indentation in the Earth; usually formed by a volcano
Erosion — when water or air breaks away at rock
Fossil — old remains from a plant or animal that died a long time ago
Gem — a precious stone often used for jewelry
Geyser — when hot water sprays up from under the Earth
Hot Spring — a pool where water is warmed by underground Earth processes
Mineral— a solid material made by the Earth
Seismic Activity — movement of the Earth’s plates created by natural processes
Earthquake — when seismic plates shift, causing the Earth to shake and split
Volcano — a mountain formed by eruptions and lava
Magma — hot fluid under the Earth
Lava — when magma surfaces from underground
Eruption — when lava or magma spews from the Earth at the top of a volcano
Tsunami — a giant wave often caused by an underwater earthquake
Fossil Fuel — a natural fuel burned by humans to run things like cars, airplanes and electricity
Climate Change Vocabulary
Climate change is a noun that describes global weather patterns and temperatures that have changed due to the impact that human activity.
Atmosphere — layers of gases in the sky that encase the Earth
Ozone — a layer of oxygen above the Earth that protects us from the sun
Carbon Dioxide —what we exhale when we breathe; we also create this by burning fossil fuels
Emissions — these are produced when we burn fossil fuels; they commonly come out of cars, power plants and factories
Ecosystems — a community of plants and animals that depend on each other for survival
Habitat — a place where an animal lives
Extinction — when all members of an animal species die
The Greenhouse Effect —when emissions get stuck under the Earth’s atmosphere and warm the planet
Pollutant —something that pollutes or damages the Earth
Non-renewable Resource — a resource that can only be used once; an example would be natural gas
Renewable Resource — a resource that can be used over and over again; an example would be wind
Coal — ancient plant matter now in rock form that can be burned for fuel
Oil— a liquid found in the Earth that can be burned for fuel
Solar Energy — a form of energy that uses the sun’s rays
Wind Energy —a form of energy that uses wind
Drought —when a landscape is dry for an extended period of time
Ice Caps — another word for glaciers in the polar regions of the Earth
While some of these words are pretty complicated, practicing climate change vocabulary is important if you want to take about current events that involve the environment.
And if you’re up for a real challenge, try practicing all of the nature words together!
Your English nature word vocabulary is growing into quite a beautiful garden!
Take care of the seeds you just planted, and watch your nature vocabulary flourish!
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)