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Flowers, Plants & Gardens Trivia Questions and Answers

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1. One way to brighten up your borders in winter is to plant them up with which multi-coloured hybridised bedding plants of the genus Viola?


Answer: Pansies

Interesting Information:
Pansies, also known as garden pansies or violas, were first cultivated in the early 19th century by cross-breeding various types of the wildflower Viola tricolour, commonly known as 'heartsease'. This small plant grows showy flowers with multi-coloured petals, commonly in shades of purple, pink, yellow, red and white. However, some of the many hundreds of varieties available have flowers in just a single shade. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: A Beautiful Winter Garden
 
Some incorrect choices:
Busy Lizzies, Daisies, Petunias

2. Which woodland flower with pretty white bell shaped flowers and the scientific name "Convallaria Majalis" can I enjoy in my garden in the late spring?


Answer: Lily of the Valley

Interesting Information:
Although this is a very pretty flower, it is highly poisonous and if ingested can cause vomiting and acute stomach pain. There is a legend that the flowers sprang from the tears of the Virgin Mary as she watched Christ being crucified and is also known as "Mary's Tears". Finland adopted the lily of the valley as their national flower in 1967. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Up the Garden Path
 
Some incorrect choices:
Campanula, Fucshia, Monkshood

3. The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant. It feeds mostly on small insects, and it's not the only one. How many different types of carnivorous plants are known to exist?


Answer: 630

Interesting Information:
There are roughly 630 known species of carnivorous plants and each one is unique. There are sundews, pitcher plants and bladderworts, but the most well known is the Venus flytrap. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Fascinating Doinaea Muscipula
 
Some incorrect choices:
163, 446, 795

4. What is xeriscaping?


Answer: Landscaping that reduces the need for water

Interesting Information:
Xeriscaping is landscaping and gardening that reduces the need for water from irrigation. This can be as extreme as building a landscape or garden that relies just on natural rainfall or as simple as designing/implementing a garden to use slightly less water than average.
Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Xeriscaping
 
Some incorrect choices:
Natural Landscaping, Landscaping on alien planets, Landscaping in tidal salt-marshes

5. What causes the naturally occurring circular rings, known as fairy rings, that appear in lawns and woodlands?


Answer: Mushrooms

Interesting Information:
Also known as pixie rings or elf rings, fairy rings are formed by the outward underground growth of the mycelium (or body) of mushrooms in an arc or circle. As it grows, the mycelium consumes all the nutrients in the soil. The existing grass or vegetation on the surface then dies of starvation leaving a ring known as the necrotic zone. The fruiting bodies of the fungus, the mushrooms, push upwards at the edge of the ring and appear above ground in the shape of a circle. There are approximately 60 different species that exhibit this growth pattern and the best known one is the Fairy Mushroom (Marasmius oreades) which can form rings over 300 metres in diameter.

Fairy rings feature significantly in folklore and legend and almost all cultures have a variation of a legend involving them. In Germany they are known as "Hexenringe" (witches' circles) and are thought to arise on the site where witches dance on Walpurgis Night. In France they are called "ronds du sorciers" (sorcerer's rings) and Dutch legend has it that they mark the spot where the devil placed his milk churn. In Celtic legend, they are believed to be caused by fairies dancing at night and it is considered bad luck to tread on them. Since many species of mushroom are poisonous, it is thought that the legends regarding fairy rings may have arisen to stop people from touching or eating them. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Foxgloves, Fairy Rings and Other Magical Plants
 
Some incorrect choices:
Birds, Seeds, Rabbits

6. The rose Zephirine Drouhine has a notable feature. What is it?


Answer: It is thornless

Interesting Information:
This rose was introduced in 1868 and is a beautiful pink climbing rose with a wonderful perfume. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Gardening For Beginners
 
Some incorrect choices:
The only true blue rose, The smallest known rose, The tallest known rose

7. What colour are the flowers of the mock orange, Philadelphus?


Answer: White

Interesting Information:
These plants are used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including The Engrailed. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Gardeners' Whirl
 
Some incorrect choices:
Orange, Red, Blue

8. What pest causes early defoliation to a winged euonymus? (also called : burning bush)


Answer: mites

Interesting Information:
These insects cause the leaves to turn white and fall off well before their noted fall color of bright red. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Landscapes and the Pests that Eat Them
 
Some incorrect choices:
japanese beetles, webworms, ladybugs

9. 'Mimulus Aurantiacus' is also known as what?


Answer: Bush Musk

Interesting Information:
'Mimulus Aurantiacus' is also known as 'Sticky Monkey Flower' in some places. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Mimulus Aurantiacus!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Golden Monkey Flower, Salmon Musk, Sticky Monkey Musk

10. Where were the first Bonsais from originally?


Answer: China

Interesting Information:
They are believed to have originated in China around 1500 years ago. They were then introduced into Japan around 1200 years ago. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Bonsais

11. Goddess of the rainbow, I; Am graceful in the spring; My petals droop like butterflies; I lend the colour to your eyes; My praises poets sing.


Answer: Iris

Interesting Information:
In mythology, Iris was the goddess of the rainbow. The flower named for her comes in many kinds and colours. The common iris is usually purple, but it can be found in blue, yellow, white or shades of pink and orange. And of course the iris is also the coloured part of your eye. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Which Flower Am I?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lily, Pansy, Lilac

12. What is the definition of a succulent plant?


Answer: A plant that can store and conserve water to protect against drought

Interesting Information:
Seedlings of the Saguaro cactus frequently sprout in the shade of a "nurse plant". As the cactus grows and uses more water, the nurse plant may die. But it is unusual for a succulent plant. Succulents have adapted several ways to store water, but what is most intriguing are the methods to conserve water. Whether they bury themselves in the ground with just "windows" to allow light in, grow huge swollen trunks or roots, or have spines for protection, the succulents present a fascinating variety. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Ooooh! Succulent Plants!
 
Some incorrect choices:
A plant that has particularly juicy fruit, A plant that has sap that, when the plant gets damaged, coagulates like blood, A plant that uses so much water that other plants cannot survive near it

13. There are some Oleanders in my neighbour's garden. Do I need to worry about children eating these?


Answer: Yes, all parts of the oleander are toxic

Interesting Information:
Nerium oleander is a handsome shrub, coming in mainly white, pink or red-flowering varieties. It also contains toxins in every part of the plant. There are urban myths blaming oleander for wiping out whole groups of people, from a Roman legion lost in North Africa, to an American scout troop which died from the smoke from burning oleander in their campfire. It is unlikely that any of these stories are true, however it is toxic enough to cause death if ingested in sufficient quantity. There is corroborated evidence of fatal poisoning in children. It primarily affects heart function, and can cause many other unpleasant and toxic side effects. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Can I Eat That Garden Plant?
 
Some incorrect choices:
No, they don't taste great, but they're quite edible, Don't worry; they make a great snack, The leaves are toxic, but the flowers are fine

14. This design is often used for vegetable gardens or gardens where the landscape is severe.


Answer: Raised-bed garden

Interesting Information:
Traditionally raised-bed gardens were made from wood, rock, concrete or tin, differing in height, length and shape. The soil is contained in the container and forked over with compost. It's popular for vegetable growing as it allows the gardener easy access to harvesting the crops.

Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Calling all Green Thumbs
 
Some incorrect choices:
Maze garden, Orchard, Cottage garden

15. Another spring flower I enjoy seeing in my garden is the primrose. Primrose Day, celebrated on the 19th April, is the anniversary of which Prime Minister who chose the primrose as his favourite flower?


Answer: Benjamin Disraeli

Interesting Information:
The flower of the primrose is usually yellow although a pink flower can sometimes be seen. The leaves and the flowers of the primrose are edible and can be used in salads as a substitute for lettuce. The primrose was Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli's favourite flower and on his death in 1881 Queen Victoria sent a wreath of them to his funeral. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Up the Garden Path
 
Some incorrect choices:
William Gladstone, Arthur Balfour, David Lloyd George

16. What is the conservation status of the Venus flytrap?


Answer: vulnerable

Interesting Information:
Just like animals, plants have a conservation status. The Venus flytrap is listed as 'vulnerable'. In some North Carolina counties, it's now considered a crime to steal naturally-growing Venus flytraps. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Fascinating Doinaea Muscipula
 
Some incorrect choices:
least concern, endangered, near threatened

17. What does the Greek root of xer(os) mean?


Answer: dry

Interesting Information:
Xeriscaping came from the Greek xer(ic) and (Land)scaping to make xeriscaping. Xer(os) means dry.The (ic) is a common suffix added to loanwords from Greek. The (c) is dropped to make the word easier to pronounce.
As an aside, Xerox was so named because it was "dry copying", very different from the then prevailing wet copying.
Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Xeriscaping
 
Some incorrect choices:
dead, wet, desertlike

18. Which partially parasitic plant is closely associated with Christmas?


Answer: Mistletoe

Interesting Information:
The name mistletoe originally referred to the European mistletoe (Viscum album), a hemi-parasitic plant native to Europe which grows on trees and shrubs. In North America, mistletoe also refers to the Eastern mistletoe (Phoradendron serotinium). A small woody shrub, mistletoe has oval evergreen leaves and produces dense clusters of waxy white berries in winter. It relies on birds to disperse its seeds and its name is thought to derive from the Anglo-Saxon "mistel" (dung) and "tan" (twig) which refers to bird droppings on tree branches. The seeds in the droppings attach themselves to the branches of the host tree where they then penetrate the bark by means of a "haustorium", an appendage which allows the plant to absorb the nutrients it requires.

With its glossy leaves and white berries, mistletoe is highly sought after as a Christmas decoration. The origin of the custom of kissing under the mistletoe is vague but it is thought to relate to mistletoe's ability to provide fertility which made it sacred to the ancient Druids. It forms part of the "kissing bough", a traditional English Christmas decoration. Another explanation comes from Norse mythology where it is closely associated with Frigg, the goddess of love. An arrow made from mistletoe was used to kill her son, Balder. At her request, he was restored to life and the arrow was given to Frigg for safekeeping. She ordered that everyone who passed beneath the arrow should receive a kiss to indicate that mistletoe had become a symbol of love, not hate.

Mistletoe features heavily in the mythology of many cultures. Greek tradition believes that it is the "golden bough of Aeneas" while French legend has it that the mistletoe is parasitic because it was growing on the tree used to make the cross of Christ. It was then cursed and forever denied a place on earth. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Foxgloves, Fairy Rings and Other Magical Plants
 
Some incorrect choices:
Poinsettia, Holly, Amaryllis

19. Where in the United States does the spurred snapdragon grow?


Answer: California

Interesting Information:
Spurred snapdragons live in northern California. They are purple and white. They are found on mountains and the northern part of the Central Valley. Spurred snapdragons are rare. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Do Snapdragons Really Snap?
 
Some incorrect choices:
Florida, Montana, New Hampshire

20. Thomas Jefferson was a pioneer in growing which variety of nightshades?


Answer: Tomatoes and Eggplants

Interesting Information:
Thomas Jefferson began growing tomatoes in 1809. He grew large ribbed Spanish tomatoes and his daughters created many recipes that involved tomatoes. He is said to have been the one to bring the eggplant to North America Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Thomas Jefferson and the Nightshades
 
Some incorrect choices:
Apples and Oranges, Peaches and Pears, Turnips and Carrots

21. In order to keep your lawn looking neat and tidy, it needs to be mowed regularly. To whom was the first patent awarded for a 'machine for mowing lawns, etc'?


Answer: Edwin Budding

Interesting Information:
Edwin Budding was an engineer from England who patented the first lawnmower. The patent for a 'machine for mowing lawns, etc' was granted on 31st August 1830.
Budding went into partnership with John Ferrabee to produce and distribute his lawnmowers.
Elwood McGuire designed a human pushed lawn mower in 1870, this was a success as it was so light and easy to use. Mervyn Richardson invented the first 'Victa' rotary motor lawnmower in the 1950s.
Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Get Off My Lawn!
 
Some incorrect choices:
John Ferrabee, Mervyn Richardson, Elwood McGuire

22. While the better half was out, Zonko went shopping and "found him in hell". Not offended Zonko is pleased, with the bright red flowers and sword green foliage of this Crocosmia. What plant has Zonko put in his garden?


Answer: Lucifer

Interesting Information:
Crocosmia Lucifer flowers between August and September and has bright red flowers. Crocosmia is native plant from South Africa and is grown worldwide. "Falling stars" and "Montbretia" are the more common names of crocosmia. With crocosmia coming from South Africa it does best being planted in full sun. All the others listed have yellow flowers. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Zonko's Most Wanted List of Plants
 
Some incorrect choices:
Saint John's Wort, Little Maid, Puna Gold

23. When should Clematis be pruned?


Answer: It depends on the variety

Interesting Information:
Clematis pruning gets a lot of people scratching their heads. There are 3 distinct groups of Clematis and whether you prune just after flowering or early in the Spring will depend on which group your plants belong to. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Gardening For Beginners
 
Some incorrect choices:
After flowering, In the spring, Never

24. What type of plant is an Egyptian lotus?


Answer: Water Lily

Interesting Information:
These plants flower at night and then close in the morning. Remains of them have been found in the tomb of Rameses II. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Gardeners' Whirl
 
Some incorrect choices:
Bamboo, Rose, Daisy

25. What is the growth habit of 'Mimulus Aurantiacus'?


Answer: Sub-Shrubby

Interesting Information:
'Mimulus Aurantiacus' may be set outside in mild climates, but it colder areas, it is much safer to bring the plant inside, incase of a heavy frost. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Mimulus Aurantiacus!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Shrubby, Perennial, Sub-Tree

26. How often should replacing the soil in the root system be done?


Answer: Depends on the age and species of the tree

Interesting Information:
Ideally this should be done in late winter or early spring to prevent the roots from rotting. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Bonsais
 
Some incorrect choices:
Every year, Every 6 months, When the roots start growing out of the bottom of the pot

27. This charming perennial has silver-grey foliage and clusters of tiny yellow flowers (hence its name). When the flowers fade, the seed pods resemble tiny silver-dollar plants. Once planted, it should never be transplanted.


Answer: "Basket-of-Gold" Alyssum (Aurinia)

Interesting Information:
"Basket of Gold" (Alyssum Saxatile or Aurinia Saxatile) makes an especially useful and charming rock garden subject. It is quite beautiful in combination with Tulips, which usually bloom at the same time as the Alyssum. The plant is also known as "Golden Tuft". It forms dense mats, and has a complex root structure that resents being disturbed, so it should not be transplanted or divided. It is best propogated by sowing the seeds which form after the flowers fade. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Perennial Borders
 
Some incorrect choices:
Ranunculus, Primula Veris, "Moonshine" Achillea

28. What is the relationship between a cactus and a succulent?


Answer: All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti

Interesting Information:
Cacti belong to the Cactaceae family of plants, and all its species are succulent plants. The Crassulaceae family (Jade Plants) is another group that is all succulent. Succulent is a descriptive term that can be used to describe not only cacti and Jade Plants, but many species in other families as well. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Ooooh! Succulent Plants!
 
Some incorrect choices:
All succulents are cacti, but not all cacti are succulents, There is no relationship, Cacti and succulents are the same

29. Usually used for vegetable growing where there is limited space, what kind of unusual gardening is this?


Answer: Upside-down garden

Interesting Information:
Upside-down gardening where the hanging pots plants grow downwards may look strange but are a perfect way of planting where space is an issue. The main vegetables grown are tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and beans. To really utilise the space, you can grow lettuce or herbs on top of the upside-down pot. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Calling all Green Thumbs
 
Some incorrect choices:
Allotment, Terracing, Pot plants

30. Which ornamental shrub with medicinal properties has spindly flowers in yellow, orange or red and a spicy aroma?


Answer: Witch hazel

Interesting Information:
Witch hazel has the botanical name 'Hamemelis' and commonly flowers from late autumn right through the winter. As a deciduous species, witch hazel loses its leaves in the autumn meaning that the flowers are particularly visible in a winter garden. It also has the added bonus of providing a pleasant, spicy fragrance to your outdoor space. These plants are best placed in a sunny, open position with slightly acidic soil. You might also find extract of witch hazel in your bathroom during the winter as it is a useful astringent and good for the skin. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: A Beautiful Winter Garden
 
Some incorrect choices:
Jojoba, Aloe vera, Poppy

31. Which flower in my garden has over a hundred species and thousands of cultivars named after famous people such as Diana, Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Florence Nightingale to name just a few?


Answer: Rose

Interesting Information:
Roses are a woody perennial plant that has fragrant flowers that can vary greatly in size and colour from white to the deepest red. As well as being grown as ornamental plants used in bouquets and flower arrangements roses have a variety of culinary uses. Rose hips (the fruit of the plant) are high in vitamin C and can be made into rose hip syrup, tea, marmalade and jams. Rose petals are also used as food and are often candied. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: Up the Garden Path
 
Some incorrect choices:
Daffodil, Hydrangea, Lavender

32. The Venus flytrap produces small seeds in what colour?


Answer: black

Interesting Information:
The seeds of the Venus flytrap are small, black and shiny. They take between four and five years to grow into mature plants. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: The Fascinating Doinaea Muscipula
 
Some incorrect choices:
red, green, white

33. Which herb, together with parsley and bay, forms part of a traditional "bouquet garni"?


Answer: Thyme

Interesting Information:
Garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a low growing perennial which is a member of the mint family. Hardy and versatile, thyme has small grayish green oval leaves with tiny pink flowers appearing in summer. It prefers a sunny position, well drained soil and is drought tolerant. There are over 100 different varieties of thyme with the most common being garden thyme and lemon thyme. The name originates from the Greek word "thymon" which means "to fumigate" which refers to thyme's antiseptic and healing properties. It is one of the three herbs that make up a traditional "bouquet garni" which is used in French cooking.

The use of the magical properties of thyme can be found as far back as 3000BC when the Sumerians used it as an antiseptic and it was one of the herbs used by ancient Egyptians in the embalming process. It was used extensively by the Greeks to endow their warriors with bravery, strength and vigour. In medieval times, thyme was added to the scarves of knights to increase their valour. Folklore has it that fairies love thyme and that drinking thyme tea will enable you to see them. Placing a sprig of thyme under your pillow is said to banish nightmares and sweeping floors with a broom to which thyme has been added will banish negative energy from a home. In "A Midsummer Night's Dream", Shakespeare has both Titania and Oberon associated with thyme and in his poem, "The Flowers", Robert Louis Stevenson mentions fairies bravely climbing in thyme. Difficulty: Very Easy.

From Quiz: Foxgloves, Fairy Rings and Other Magical Plants
 
Some incorrect choices:
Paprika, Chamomile, Saffron

34. Where did the tomato originate?


Answer: South America

Interesting Information:
The tomato is native to South America and probably originated in the highlands of the west coast of South America. Some species were exported to Mexico where it was grown and consumed by prehistoric humans. The exact date of domestication is not known. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Thomas Jefferson and the Nightshades
 
Some incorrect choices:
Europe, Asia, North America

35. What is one of the biggest issues in people having large lawns, especially in countries like Australia?


Answer: Lack of water

Interesting Information:
In countries like Australia, a lack of water can seriously hamper attempts to create a nice, green, healthy lawn. Lawn needs a lot of water to survive and in many places in Australia there is so little water that people are restricted as to how much they can use and when they can use it. In some cities in Australia the water restrictions are so tight, people are only allowed to water their lawns by hand (not using sprinklers) or are not allowed to water them at all. Difficulty: Easy.

From Quiz: Get Off My Lawn!
 
Some incorrect choices:
Lack of space, Lawns harbour too many weeds & pests, Too much noise from lawn mowers on a Sunday morning

36. Zonko is planning on playing a trick on his better half in the garden. If he buys this plant, he knows that his better half will be jumping on top of the furniture "screaming for the cats" if she catches a glimpse of it. What plant is Zonko after?


Answer: Mouse Plant

Interesting Information:
Mouse Plant or Mouse Tailed Plant is the common of the plant Arisarum proboscideum. It is a native plant from Spain and Italy. It gets its common name due to the spathe looking like the body of a mouse. As the spathe narrows towards the end it takes on the appearance of a mouse tail. Difficulty: Average.

From Quiz: Zonko's Most Wanted List of Plants
 
Some incorrect choices:
Black Eyed Susan, Love Lies Bleeding, Spider Plant

37. A gardener decides to place a bird feeder in the garden to feed finches. The feeder selected is a thistle feeder. The gardener hesitates to use this feeder, fearing that thistles will invade the garden. Why is this not a real threat?


Answer: Thistle seed is not used in these feeders

Interesting Information:
The seed is not a thistle seed, it is Guizotia abyssinica commonly known as niger or nyjer seed. It closely resembles a sunflower. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Gardener's Challenge
 
Some incorrect choices:
The seed from the feeder will not germinate., The birds leave no whole seeds., You spray with a herbicide.

38. What is unusual about the leaves of 'Mimulus Aurantiacus', compared to the rest of the Mimulus family?


Answer: They are sticky

Interesting Information:
Many Mimulus have edible, rough leaves, but only 'Mimulus Aurantiacus' has sticky ones. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Mimulus Aurantiacus!
 
Some incorrect choices:
They are rough, They are yellow, They are edible

39. This type of garden requires protection from the weather, shade and a damp environment.


Answer: Fernery

Interesting Information:
As the name suggests this type of garden is especially constructed for the home of ferns. Ferns are plants that consist of stems, leaves and roots and generally enjoy an environment of dampness and filtered light and shade. Construction of a fernery usually consists of coverage by shade cloth or using naturally shading bushes and trees. Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: Calling all Green Thumbs
 
Some incorrect choices:
Orchard, Vertical garden, Vegetable garden

40. Which genus of evergreen shrub provides a splash of colour in winter with its commonly white or pink flowers, dark red berries and deep-green leaves?


Answer: Viburnum

Interesting Information:
There are well over 100 species of viburnum native to the northern hemisphere, although they can also be found in south east Asia and South America. They make a nice addition to a winter garden thanks to the fact that they keep their glossy leaves throughout the winter and also have delicate whiteish-pink flowers and an array of berries as well.

Laburnum is a species of tree, alburnum is part of the wood of a tree and weburnum is what happens when humans put wood into a fireplace.
Difficulty: Hard.

From Quiz: A Beautiful Winter Garden
 
Some incorrect choices:
Laburnum, Alburnum, Weburnum
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