Garden Trivia Quiz Answers

Garden Trivia Answers are Revealed

The suspense is over for all fun-loving gardening trivia buffs. Here are the answers to the trivia quiz and in some cases an explanation.



1. That warm feeling from hot peppers is measured in units that honour the man who discovered the complicated way to measure the heat of peppers. Pepper heat is measured in Scoville Units in honour of Wilbur Scoville who invented the scale in 1912.

2. Zucchetta Rampicante is an heirloom vegetable vine from Italy. It is a summer squash or zucchini.

3. Some tomatoes are true vines that don’t stop growing until the frost. These are indeterminate because they don’t stop growing once they start flowering.

4. This vegetable has many personalities. When it is growing in the herb garden it is often called Chinese parsley. When the seeds are gathered for mildly spicy casseroles and baked goods it is called coriander. Used fresh or dried in India it is called dhania. It is called cilantro when the leaves are harvested for salsas and salads.

5. The flowers, stems, leaves and seeds of foxgloves are very attractive but deadly. The chemicals deslanoside, digitoxin, digoxin, and digitalis glycosides make this popular perennial so harmful.

6. Whirling butterflies is the cultivar name of a perennial with dancing blooms on long wiry stems. The flowers open whitish pink and turn rosy pink as they age. The plant is called Gaura lindheimeri.

7. Some perennials have a colour identity problem. Purple coneflower is not really purple it is pink. ‘Husker Red’ is a foxglove penstemon that in real life has maroon tipped leaves and soft lavender flowers with white throats. A vigorous groundcover called Lamium ‘Beacon Silver’ has pink blooms and silver foliage edged in green.

8. Physostegia is called the obedient plant, not because it stays contained but because the flowers move on a hinge and stay in place.

9. Ligularias have big, bold leaves that often look like wilted lettuce in the garden. The plant would be happiest in a cool and moist location.

10. Black walnut trees exude a toxic material from their roots to exclude other broad-leaved plants (including their own seedlings) from growing nearby and providing competition. They exude a toxic substance called Juglone.

11. The oil from the roots of a tree native from Maine to New York and Michigan and south to East Texas and central Florida was originally used to flavour root beer. This tree with mitten shaped leaves is called Sassafras.

12. This massive native tree has a botanical name that is derived from the Greek word “leirion” meaning lily and dendron meaning “tree”. Native peoples used the tall straight trunks of this tree for large canoes carrying 20 people or more. The attractive yellow and orange flowers are blooming now. The tree is Liriodendron or tulip tree (yellow poplar or tulip poplar).

13. Maine and Ontario’s official tree is the Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobes).

14. Aucuparia is part of a botanical name for a small tree or tall shrub meaning “I catch birds”. The plant is a mountain ash that has fruit that are used to catch birds in Europe.

15. This ornamental plant in the annual garden still produces a few tubers like its close relatives found in the grocery story vegetable section. The ornamental vegetable is sweet potato vine (Ipomaea batatus).

16. Deadheading is a term for a frequent practice done by anyone growing marigolds, geraniums and zinnias. The term refers to the act of removing the spent flowers.

17. One of the most popular cannas for dramatic effect has burgundy purple leaves with red and yellow striped leaves and orange blooms. This canna is called  Tropicanna, ‘Orange Durban’ or ‘Phaison’.

18. This annual is called false Queen Anne’s Lace or Bishop flower for its cluster of lacy white blooms. It is Ammi majus and it will grow to 75 cm (30 inches).

19. Zinnia flowers come in a rainbow of colours. What unusual colour is the one called ‘Envy’? ‘Envy’ is a delicate shade of green.

20. The annual lobelia (Lobelia erinus) is native to South Africa (Cape of Good Hope area).

Garden Challenges
21. A voracious green caterpillar can reach 4 inches (10 cm) in length while devouring many items in the vegetable garden. This is the tomato hornworm, which is a sight to see and hear chewing.

22. These dime size black spots form on the upper surface of maple leaves during the second half of the summer. This unattractive yet relatively harmless disease is called tar spot.

23. There are four houseplant-attaching insects that excrete a substance called honeydew. These are aphids, scale, mealybug and whitefly.

24. Cutting both ends out of a metal soup can and pushing it 2 inches (5 cm) into the lawn is a good way to tell if an underground insect is present. Chinch bug is the serious lawn pest potentially floats to the top a few minutes after water is added to the can.

25. A white dusty coating on a lilac leaf is a fungus disease called powdery mildew.

26. This vine, shrub or groundcover plant has three leaflets, white berries and small greenish-white blooms. Most people regret coming into contact with the plant’s sap because it causes itchy blisters. It is called poison ivy.

27. The stems on this weed are triangular. It loves to grow in moist, sandy fields or gardens. It is the troublesome weed called yellow nutsedge.

28. This weed looks like a scouring brush because it has no leaves, flowers or seeds. It reproduces by spores and spreads by underground stems. The stems can easily be pulled apart at the nodes and put back together like interconnecting pipe. It is called horsetail and is quite persistent.

29. Ragweed has inconspicuous male flowers that produce huge quantities of light pollen that can fly in the wind for more than 125 miles (200 km). This plant is the most important cause of hay fever allergy suffering during August and September for many people.


30. Poison hemlock, goutweed, Queen Anne’s lace, and water parsnip all belong to the same family of plants. These plants are in the carrot or parsley family (Apiaceae or Umbelliferae)



Indoor and Tender Plants
31. What is the botanical name for weeping fig? Ficus benjamina.

32. Frangipani is a large tropical plant known for its colourful blooms and outstanding fragrance.

33. Bromeliads belong to the same family as this popular tropical fruit. The most famous member of this family is the pineapple.

34. The looking glass tree is named for its silvery mirror-like foliage that reflects the sun. The tree is called Heritiera.

35. Kiss-me-quick or yesterday-today-and-tomorrow is the name of a tropical shrub that has flowers that are pale violet when they first open. After a day the fragrant flowers change colour to white. The shrub is called Brunfelsia.

Comments are closed.