Whether you're a garden variety flower enthusiast or a full-blown botanist, it's hard to deny the allure of flowers. They're colorful and complex, edible or toxic, aromatically pleasing or gag-worthy (we're looking at you, corpse flower) and they grow practically everywhere on Earth.
While you may have no problem identifying a rose, a sunflower or a sprig of lavender, do you know your Queen Anne's lace from a common carrot? Did you know they're related?
What about poppies? Do you know which ones are used for making opiates versus making poppy seed rolls like a proper Polish grandma?
Did you know that some of today's common landscaping flowers were once cultivated for their roots as a food source? Do you know which flowers still are? If so, you're ready for this quiz!
Ingest your allergy pill, gather your gardening supplies and take notes for your next trip to the nursery; even if you don't ace this quiz, you'll come away with plenty of useful tips about which plants are best for you and your garden/bouquet/culinary needs.
Roses rank among the most popular cut flowers in the world, and are a standard gift for lovers, friends and family. They come in more than 300 different species that can be combined to make countless varietals.
Tulips include more than 75 different species of plants, which grow from bulbs each spring to display colorful blooms. While we often think of them as being iconic of the Netherlands, they weren't introduced to the West until the sixteenth century.
Orchids are one of the largest families of flowering plants on the planet, which means there are countless varieties you can put your green thumb to work on. According to the American Orchid Society, over-watering is the biggest cause of orchid failure, and dark green leaves are a sign that your plant is getting too little sunlight.
There are roughly 70 sunflower species, and almost all are native to North America. They grow to more than ten feet tall, have thick, hairy stems and their name comes from the way their yellow petals fan out like the rays of the sun.
Technically referred to as a narcissus, a daffodil features six petals forming a star-shaped background against another set of petals arranged to form a trumpet. They have historically been used medicinally, as well as cultivated because they were pretty.
Native to North America, they are also referred to as African marigolds. They are used in the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) festivities as decorations for the graves and altars of deceased loved ones.
The lotus is an aquatic flower that can grow on mud or marsh as well as bodies of water, hence its common name, water lily. Its large, colorful bloom features hues of white, pink and purple. Lotus is the national flower of both India and Vietnam.
Native to Mexico, this flower is related to both the daisy and the sunflower. It was originally grown as a crop by the Aztecs who used the flowers' tubers for food.
Chrysanthemums, or mums, are native to Asia and northern Europe. They like full sun and well-drained soil, and with proper care, will produce blossoms of white, yellow, red and other hues. In Japan, the chrysanthemum symbolizes the Imperial family.
Irises bloom for just a few weeks each spring and produce flowers in a huge variety of colors beyond the traditional purple or lavender. These perennials feature sword-shaped leaves and flowers constructed from three inner and three outer petals.
Lilacs are part of the olive family, and there are 12 different species. The flowers, which are usually pale purple, grow in a shape called a panicle, which can resemble a cone or a bunch of grapes.
There are 33 known species of peony native to Asia, Europe and North America. They bloom in late spring, and come in shades of purple, white, red and yellow. Alaska is becoming an emerging market for the flowers due to the long length of their summer days.
Native to the southeast coast of the United States, magnolias are known for their oversized white, pink or pale purple flowers. The state flower of Louisiana, these plants also thrive in Texas and Oklahoma.
Lavender features spiky purple florets blooming from long, narrow stems. The color of the flowers can range from pale lilac to deep purple-blue. Lavender is prized for its soothing scent, and is often extracted for use in baked goods and cooking.
Also known as wild carrot, Queen Anne's lace consists of large, flat clusters of delicate white blossoms. Despite its beauty, the plant is considered an invasive weed in some places because of how easily it grows.
People have been cultivating carnations for more than two millennia. These cheerful flowers have become a symbol of resistance and remembrance, and come in shades of pink, purple, red, white and yellow.
With their red and green leaves, poinsettias have become a common symbol of the Christmas season. Named for the U.S. minister who brought the plant from the U.S. to Mexico in the 19th century, the poinsettia is not poisonous to people, but can cause mild discomfort if ingested.
Snapdragons consist of tall stems with flowers cascading down either side. They're called snapdragons, because when you squeeze the flower on its sides, it looks a like a dragon's mouth is opening and closing.
With their bright white petals and yellow centers, feverfew brightens up the backyard and is a popular choice for flower arrangements. The plant has a long history of being used as an herbal remedy, as well. Originally it was used as an anti-inflammatory.
It's hard to imagine a more exotic flower than the bird of paradise, which gets its name because it resembles a tropical bird. Native to southern Africa, it's also called the crane flower, and has thick, evergreen foliage to accompany its brilliant blossoms.
There are roughly 200 species of anemones, their name meaning "daughter of the wind" in Greek. According to Ovid, the plant was created by the goddess, Venus.
One species of crocus gives us the spice saffron, which comes from its stigma. Thirty of the ninety species of crocus are actively cultivated by people.
Native to South America, alstroemeria is often called the Peruvian lily. Due to human breeding and the creation of new hybrids and cultivars, the flowers bloom nearly year-round.
Pansies were first developed in 1812 from a variety of species of violas, mostly heartsease, that was considered a weed. Just over two decades later, there were hundreds of different types of pansies available to gardeners.
The national flower of Japan, cherry blossoms form clouds of fragrant pink and white blossoms that create an ethereal effect. It is not cultivated for its fruit as other cherry trees are.
The tropical hibiscus plant presents large, showy flowers in shades of white, pink, red, orange, yellow and purple. The trumpet-shaped blooms consist of five or more broad petals. You can use the flowers to make a tart tea that's high in vitamin C.
Part of the olive family, jasmine consists of around 200 species of plants that take the shape of shrubs, vines or tall stems. The flowers are used both for their fragrance and as a tea.
There are more than 1,000 species of morning glories, which are so named because they expose their colorful flowers early each morning. The leaves of one type of morning glory are eaten as a vegetable that's colloquially called "water spinach."
Violets have heart-shaped leaves with scalloped edges, plus flowers with exactly five petals. The flowers bloom not only in purple, but also in blue, white and yellow. Because the plant self-seeds, it can be considered a weed.
The Gerbera is one of the most popular cut flowers for bouquets thanks to its bright, jewel-like color and cheerful bloom. It was first described scientifically in 1889.
Part of the heather family, laurel features pink and white round flowers growing on evergreen shrubs. Beware: Every part of this plant is poisonous to humans and pets. The Cherokee used products made from the plant topically as an analgesic.
This tropical plants features thick glossy leaves and large flowers in shades of white, yellow and pink. They're cultivated for their fragrance, as an accessory and for food and garnishes.
The hyacinth features dense flowers arranged in a bottle-brush or cone shape. The bulbs are toxic and it's a good idea to where gloves when handling them during planting so they don't irritate your skin.
Asters includes around 180 species of flowers in various shades of pink, purple and lavender. The name of the plant was inspired by the Greek word for star due to the star-shaped structure of this flower.
Hydrangeas, which means "water vessel" in Greek (and refers to the seed capsule shape) blossom on hearty shrubs and on small trees. The flowers are large and showy, and come in shades of pink, purple white and blue. The large clusters of blooms are often referred to as pom-poms or mopheads.
Also known as May bells, the fragrant white blooms of lily of the valley belie its scary inner secret; this plant smells and looks beautiful, but it's seriously poisonous.
The sweet pea is an annual climbing plant with delicate leaves and fragile blooms. It takes several weeks to germinate, but those patient enough to grow this plant are rewarded with colorful, fragrant blossoms.
Native to Asia and still very popular on that continent, the camellia consists of more than 100 different species. The flower is known for its large, fragrant blooms and thick, glossy leaves. C. sinensis produces tea leaves that make all beverages that are technically called tea. Anything made from another plant is technically a tisane.
Part of the iris family, the gladiola is sometimes called the sword lily because of its tall, spike-like stem. The flowers come in shades of pink, purple, red, white and orange.
Azaleas are shade-tolerant shrubs that almost anyone can grow thanks to their easy maintenance requirements. They're so popular that there are over 10,000 different cultivars of azaleas.
There are almost 1800 species of bergenia in shades ranging from white to red, orange and pink. These plants are also known as "pigsqueak" because of the noise it makes when you rub the leaves together.
The state flower of the state of Maryland, the black-eyed susan is part of the sunflower family. The yellow petals surround a brown or black central dome, and the entire flower can be up to four inches in diameter.
Heather is a low-growing shrub with flowers in shades of mauve or white. Blueberries, cranberries and huckleberries are part of the heather family.
Buttercups may look innocent, but they are seriously poisonous to both humans and animals. They're called buttercups because people used to think that they give butter it's yellow color without knowing that they were actually poisonous to cows (and therefore not consumed by them.)
The poppy famously is used to produce opium, but only one species of this plant can produce the powerful drug. With flowers in red, white and yellow, the poppy has long been a symbol of remembrance, and is particularly associated with battles fought on fields of poppies during WWI. The seeds are also commonly used in baked goods.
Amaryllis is a plant with rows of long and narrow green leaves. The plant produces flowers in clusters of two to twelve. They are named for a character in one of Virgil's pastorals.
The ultra-fragrant freesia (named after Friedrich Freese) comes in shades of white, yellow, orange pink and purple. These funnel-shaped blossoms grow on only one side of the stem, and each features six petals. The plant is native to South Africa. They are often used to scent bath and body products and in wedding bouquets.
Delphinium consists of more than 300 species, and most feature a characteristic blue or purple hue. The clusters of tiny flowers grow on tall stems, so be sure to stake them if you decide to include them in your garden. It's named for the ancient Greek word for dolphin. It was named by an ancient Greek physician who thought the flowers looked like dolphins.
Lilies come in many shades, from white to yellow, pink, purple and orange. They grow from bulbs and bloom into variously-shaped fragrant flowers. Lily roots are eaten around the world.