nature words

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.

For example:

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.

For example:

 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.

Describing Nature

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

If you want to practice some of this vocabulary and learn a lot more, you should check out FluentU’s interactive and immersive English content.

FluentU uses real-world videos—like nature documentaries, TED Talks, news stories and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

With the help of interactive subtitles, vocabulary lists and plenty of practice materials, your English will blossom like it’s springtime! There are dozens of nature, wildlife and science videos to compliment this specific article.

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

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

Beautiful Landscapes

nature words

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

nature words

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

nature words

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!

 

Wow!

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!
 

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