The Ultimate Flower Quiz

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: 1001nights / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's time for some flower power! Come and express your love and knowledge of all things floral!

Flowers serve very scientific purposes, including luring bugs, such as bees, to help with the process of pollination. That's an important job, considering that without pollination, there would be no fruits, seeds or new plants!

Flowers also serve another purpose -beautification, and although it is not so scientific, it is a purpose which flower lovers can really appreciate. Colorful buds and blooms have long been used as decorative elements in gardens and indoors. Whether potted or cut, they can brighten a room and the spirits of its occupants.

Some plants bloom year-round but many others are seasonal and in some cases, this has led them to being associated with annual events. Take that brilliantly red flower which is so very popular during the holidays. Do you know what it is called? If you do, then do you also know that it is not REALLY a flower? It and the explanation are in this quiz. So jump in to find out the answer!

There are also those flowers that are significant enough in a region to be singled out for special attention. Some are national flowers and a handful are given this honor by more than one country. Can you guess which any of them are? We put a few of them in this quiz. Go see if you can find them!

If you've sent a bouquet or two, then you might get some of these right. Amateur botanists, however, should flourish with this quiz. There is no blooming time to waste - start the quiz now!

The Rosaceae family of roses contains more than 100 species. While red roses have long been associated with love, other colors have their own association. These include light pink – grace; peach – modesty; yellow – infidelity; and dark pink – gratitude.

The Netherlands is currently the world’s largest producer of tulips. The country’s association with tulips began in the 1600s when rare cultivated varieties of tulips from the Netherlands were highly sought after and extremely expensive. This period in European history is now referred to as Tulip Mania or Tulpenwindhandel (Dutch).

The daisy family of flowers (or Asteraceae) is one of the largest and most widespread around the world. The only other flower which can compare to the daisy, in terms of number of species and distribution, is the orchid family (or Orchidaceae).

Orchids can be found in almost every habitat around the world. Not many people know that vanilla food flavoring is derived from the cured, unripe beans of the vanilla orchid. The three most commonly used species are the Mexican, Tahiti and West Indian vanilla orchids.

Golden yellow is the traditional color of the daffodil. Cultivated varieties, however, may have petals and trumpets that are pink, white and orange. The daffodil is native to Europe but can be grown in temperate conditions worldwide.

The sunflower is well-known for the large size of its flower head. It is not uncommon for some species of the sunflower to grow up to 15 feet tall. Each sunflower head produces as many as 1,000 to 2,000 edible sunflower seeds.

In many Asian religions, the lotus is used as a symbol of purity and perfection. Many works of art from the region show a strong association between the lotus flower and deities.

The marigold belongs to the same family of flowers as the sunflower. Its colors are typically solid yellow, orange, gold or white. Some varieties of both natural and selectively bred marigold can have maroon (brownish-red) highlights in their flowers.

Chrysanthemums are traditionally yellow, as indicated by their name which translates to “gold flower” in Ancient Greek. But the flowers are now commonly found in an array of colors, including red, white and purple (as seen in the image).

Irises are most often blue or purple with a few varieties in pink, orange, yellow or white. The flower shares its name with the Greek rainbow goddess who also served as the messenger of the gods.

Gardenias are well known for their sweetly fragrant white or pale yellow flowers. The leaves are both shiny and leathery while the flowers have a waxy texture. Gardenias can be grown as houseplants but some varieties of its shrub are known to reach between 2 to 12 feet tall.

Carnations can often be seen at special events but are particularly associated with Mother’s Day. In many countries around the world, there is a longstanding tradition of giving carnations as a gift on Mother’s Day.

Jasmine flowers are typically white or yellow and carry a very pleasant, unique scent. There is a tradition in China to use newly opened jasmine buds to flavor tea leaves. The process can be done with various types of teas to produce jasmine tea.

Several species of hibiscus grow on the Hawaiian Islands and the flower has been named the state’s official flower. The hibiscus is popular in many parts of the world, so it is no surprise that it also serves as the national flower of both Malaysia and Haiti.

Some species of the begonia plant are epiphytic. That means they grow on the surface of another plant but are not parasites and do not normally negatively affect the other plant. Color variations of the begonia flower include bright red, white, yellow and pink – all with a bright yellow center.

The anemone falls within the buttercup family of plants. The flowers come in a variety of colors, such as red, white, blue and violet. The Greek name for the anemone translates to “windflower” or “daughter of the wind.”

Lilacs come in a variety of colors but the most popular one is the one from which the flower gets its name: lilac – a pinkish purple. Other common colors are purple, white and pink.

The cherry blossoms’ association with Japan is well known with one variety in particular being referred to as the Japanese cherry (also known as sakura). Cherry blossoms colors range from almost pure white to deep pink. The trees are grown for ornamental purposes and the fruit they produce is not normally edible.

The poinsettia is native to Mexico and named for Joel R. Poinsett, a U.S. diplomat and amateur botanist who served in Mexico. What most people regard as the poinsettia flower are actually specialized leaves (the flowers are in the center and are much smaller). The leaves range in color from red to orange, cream, pink, white and pale green.

Dandelion gets its name from the Latin words for “lion’s tooth,” which refers to the jagged shape of the dandelion’s leaves. While the plant is quite well known, it is generally regarded as a weed. The dandelion plant is, however, completely edible, very nutritious and has several medicinal benefits.

The exotic and ornamental bird-of-paradise flower is named after an actual bird which is native to Australia and its surrounding regions. The plant, however, is native to South Africa.

Apart from being used as an herb in cooking, the lavender plant also has medicinal uses, including easing intestinal discomfort. Lavender yields a highly fragrant essential oil which is popularly used as a scent in perfumes.

The dahlia is native to higher and cooler elevations in Mexico and the countries of Central America. One particular species of dahlia has been named the national flower of Mexico.

Both Michigan and Arkansas have designated the apple blossom as their official state flower. This is in keeping with the rich history of apple production in both states.

The larkspur is a member of the buttercup family. It is toxic to both humans and cattle but sheep are not affected by it. For this reason, sheep are sometimes used to rid cattle pastures of larkspur plants.

One species of the poppy is famous for being the plant from which opium is derived. Another species, the red poppy, is the national flower of Poland. The red poppy has also long been associated with fundraising efforts for war veterans.

Apart from being the state flower of both Louisiana and Mississippi, the magnolia is also the national flower of North Korea.

Queen Anne’s lace is also known as wild carrot and is the original source from which the cultivated carrot is derived. The plant is mainly grown for the decorative value of its flowers since the actual carrot root is only edible when young.

There are approximately 100 species of the lily but the water lily is not one of them. The water lily is not a true lily, despite the close resemblance which they bear. The lily flower comes is a wide range of colors and has a very pleasant fragrance.

The closed lip of the snapdragon makes it difficult for some insects to enter. There are some insects, such as strong bees, which are able to force the petals apart and get to the nectar inside. Snapdragons are closely related to toadflaxes (which are also known by the name spurred snapdragons).

The flower head of the gerbera is usually colored in shades of red, orange, yellow, pink and white. It is also possible for one gerbera flower to have petals of different colors.

According to Greek mythology, the peony flower gets its name from the physician of the gods or god of medicine, Paiōn. Zeus turned him into a flower to save him from being killed by his teacher, Asclepius, a son of Apollo.

The gladiolus is named for its sword-shaped leaves and is sometimes referred to as the sword lily. Many of the cultivated varieties of the gladiolus were developed from species native to the sub-Saharan regions of Africa.

The hydrangea is native to the Americas and Asia. While the flowers are often white, the color can vary depending on the quality of the soil. It is not uncommon to find hydrangea is an array of colors, including red, rose, pink, blue and lavender, as well as light and dark purple.

Thanks to their showy flowers and glossy leaves, many species of the camellia are grown for their decorative value. One species, however, is prized for its great economic value – the Camellia Sinensis, or tea plant. Another species, the Camellia Japonica, is the state flower of Alabama.

Forget-me-nots are most often blue with white, pink and yellow being other possible colors. Traditionally, forget-me-nots are given as a gift so that the receiver will always remember the giver or so that the receiver knows they will never be forgotten by the giver.

The lily of the valley is considered to be one of the true lilies. Its nodding bell-shaped white flowers grow in bunches along the stem and are sweetly fragranced.

The rhododendron belongs to the same family as heather. The rhododendron flower is eaten in Nepal, as well as used to make flower juice. It has been named Nepal’s national flower.

The sweet pea is a member of the legume family but its seed pods and the seeds they hold are not considered to be edible. Sweet peas are very popular, however, as ornamental flowers and are often used in floral arrangements.

The mountain laurel serves as the state flower of both Pennsylvania and Connecticut. It is native to the mountainous areas of eastern North America and is used in Native American medicine.

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