Can You Identify These 40 Flowers From an Image and a Hint?

SCIENCE

Deborah Beckwin

7 Min Quiz

Plants and flowers can provide us with several uses. Which of the following flowers has been used as an insect repellent, a food flavoring and a pain reliever?

The tansy (the common tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, is what's pictured here) has long been used medicinally and in food. But tansy species can also be toxic, causing skin inflammation for some people.

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Which of these flowers would you be able to find your salad?

The Calendula genus include species such as the Calendula officinalis (also known as the common marigold) shown here. You'll find this in flower in other dishes, such as German soups and stews (another name for this flower is the pot marigold). Calendula also has medicinal purposes and can be found in ointments.

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A popular cut flower, which of the following have thousands of cultivars and natively grows in the tropics?

The genus Gerbera was named after a German botanist and friend of Carl Linnaeus, Traugott Gerber. Gerbera daisies such as this one pictured (Gerbera jamesonii, the Barberton daisy) are important to the florist industry, as it's the fifth most popular flower. It's also important as a model organism when studying the processes of flower formation.

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Which of the following flowers was so popular in 18th century Netherlands, there were over 2,000 cultivars created?

Hyacinthus is the genus for the hyacinth flower. The most well-known species is Hyacinthus orientalis, the common hyacinth. Hyacinths are native to the eastern Mediterranean region.

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In the same family as cotton and okra, which flower has stems that can be used as firewood?

The common hollyhock (Alcea rosea) is natively found in southwest China, but was imported to Europe in the 1600s. A popular garden flower, there are 60 species of the hollyhocks and numerous cultivars.

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Which of the following flower's name is derived from the South American indigenous word for "tobacco"?

The genus Petunia has 20 different species, including what's pictured here, the Petunia axillaris, common name: large white petunia. Petunias are a popular garden flower and have many eye-popping cultivars, including "Night Sky" which is a deep bluish-purple flower with white speckles.

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This flowering plant is actually a legume. Can you identify it?

Wild senna (Senna hebecarpa) is a part of the bean family Fabaceae. It flowers in the summer months and is found mainly in the eastern region of the U.S. For Native Americans, it traditionally has many medicinal uses.

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Which of these flowers can you find growing natively in the southwest region of the U.S., in Mexico, and in South America?

The Zinnia genus is named after German botanist Johann Gottfried Zinn. Zinnias come in various shapes and colors. What you see here is the Zinnia elegans, also known as the common zinnia or youth-and-age.

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One of these flowers is the national flower of Mexico. Do you know which one it is?

The Dahlia genus is home to 42 species, including Mexico's national flower, Dahlia pinnata (common name: garden dahlia), which is what is pictured here. Dahlias are native to Mexico but there are close to 60,000 registered cultivars.

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Which flower is part of an old romantic rhyme?

The Viola genus has a variety of species in several shapes and colors. Shown here is Viola sororia, known as the common blue violet, which can be seen as a weed. But the larger Viola odorata is commonly known as sweet violet and grown in gardens -- but it can and does grow freely, sometimes without an invitation.

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Which flower is native to Africa and the Americas is loved by pollinators but is toxic to grazing animals?

The genus Lantana has around 150 species, some of which are considered invasive in places such as Australia. What you see here is Lantana camara also known as wild type spanish flag. Lantana can help produce honey, as honeybees are attracted to this plant, but its leaves can cause liver toxicity in livestock and other grazing animals.

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Can you identify the flower whose scientific name means "finger"?

The genus of foxgloves is Digitalis, which is derived from the Latin word, "digitus", which means "finger". Pictured here is Digitalis purpurea, the common foxglove, whose flower can fit over a human finger.

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Which flower's name is derived from the Greek words for "sun" and "to turn"?

Heliotropes are in the Heliotropium genus, and what you see here is Heliotropium arborescens, known as common heliotrope or cherry pie -- but it smells like vanilla. If you have a dog, you want to keep them away from this plant, since it can cause liver toxicity and death.

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In Japan, this flower is used as the symbol of the Emperor and the Imperial family.

The Chrysanthemum genus is native to the continent of Asia and in the northeastern region of Europe. Pictured here is the popular species Chrysanthemum morifolium, known as the florist's daisy. There are an estimated 20,000+ cultivars of this flower.

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Which of the following flowers is known to have some species with colorful sepals but no petals?

The genus Begonia were named by French botanist Charles Plumier after former French governor of Saint-Domingue (now known as Haiti), Michel Bégon. It has over 1,800 species. Begonia obliqua L. is shown here, and is the species Plumier named the Begonia genus after.

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One of the common names of this flower is called "touch-me-not" because the seeds will burst out and spread if you touch the plant in the slightest. Which one is it?

With common names "busy Lizzie", "balsam", and "patience", the genus Impatiens has over 1,000 species. Most likely, you're used to seeing the species Impatiens walleriana (as is shown here) which is native to the continent of Africa-specifically the eastern region. But impatiens come in several shapes and colors, including some that resembles orchids and irises.

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Which flower can you open and close by pressing it gently with your fingers?

Antirrhinum is the genus for snapdragons, which are named because of how it looks when one opens and closes the flower with its fingers. Pictured here is Antirrhinum majus, or the common snapdragon. The snapdragon has been studied by naturalist Charles Darwin and geneticist Gregor Mendel and is considered to be a model organism to study by geneticists for plant and floral development.

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Species of which flower are the national emblems of South Korea, Malaysia and Haiti?

The Hibiscus genus is home to hundreds of species along with many hybrids. The flower is important to many cultures, with the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), as the most popular species.

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Which of the following flowers has approximately half of its species natively growing in the Himalayas?

The Primula genus has approximately 500 species with 30 sections. What you see pictured here is Primula alpicola, or the moonlight primrose, found natively in Bhutan and Tibet. The primrose got its common name because it's one of the first flowers to open in springtime.

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The genus of which flower is known as a folk remedy for the common cold?

Only found in the eastern region of North America, the genus is called Echinacea, which is derived from a Greek word which means "hedgehog" or "spiny one," referring to its spiny center. The cold remedy and immune system benefits haven't been scientifically proven for what's shown here, Echinacea purpurea (common name: eastern purple coneflower), and for other species such as the Echinacea angustifolia (common name: narrow-leaf coneflower).

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Which of these flowers is named after a German botanist?

With around 110 species, the genus Fuchsia is named after Leonhart Fuchs, a 16th century German botanist. French botanist, Charles Plumier, was the first European to discover the flower on Hispaniola and named the flower after fuchsia. Pictured here is the species of flower Plumier found, Fuchsia triphylla, also known as honeysuckle fuchsia.

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The name for this flower means "nose twister." Do you know which of the following flowers has this name?

Known for its brightly colored flowers, the genus Tropaeolum's common name is nasturtium. Tropaeolum majus, or the garden nasturtium, is pictured here. The flowers and leaves are typically both edible.

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Ever hold one of these flowers under your chin to see its reflection and how much you like a certain food? Which flower is that?

The Ranunculus genus contains 500 species which include buttercups (pictured here is Ranunculus acris, the meadow buttercup). What you see Buttercups have reflective petals which help to attract pollinators but also help to regulate the temperature of the plant's reproductive organs. And buttercups have nothing to do with butter--these flowers are toxic to cows.

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A common springtime flower in the southern region of the U.S., which flower is also a rhododendron?

The azalea is a part of the Rhododendron genus, which is also a flower name. What's pictured is Azalea indica, a common flower you'd find flowering in the springtime -- and after a good rain, these flowers bloom covering the whole bush, obscuring leaves. These flowers have cultural significance, with azalea festivals in China, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S.

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Which flower is known in the U.S. as myrtle or creeping myrtle?

Lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) doesn't mean it's a less important flower. It just means compared to its closer relative, greater periwinkle (Vinca major), it's not as big. Both flowers you'll see used in gardening and landscaping as ground cover.

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When Carl Linnaeus named this flower, he was mistaken. Which of the following is his misnamed flower?

The calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is not really a lily. The correct genus is named after Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi by German botanist Kurt Sprengel. Calla lilies grow natively in the southern Africa but have been naturalized in Australia, New Zealand, California and Kenya, among other countries.

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For bringing calm and a good night's sleep, which flower would you pick to use?

The genus Lavandula includes close to 50 species of lavender. A popular species is pictured here, Lavandula angustifolia, often called English lavender or common lavender. Two other species, Lavandula dentata and Lavandula stoechas, are known interchangeably as Spanish lavender and French lavender.

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The genus name of this flower comes from the Greek word meaning "dolphin." Which flower is that?

Larkspurs also go by the genus name, Delphinium. Pictured here is the Delphinium elatum, also known as the candle larkspur. There are around 300 species of Delphinium which grow natively in the Northern Hemisphere.

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This plant blooms at night and is a popular fragrance in perfumes, or just by itself. Do you know which one this is?

Found only in Mexico, the tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is called by many different names in other cultures. Two examples: in Bangladesh, it's called "Rajnigandha," the night-smelling flower, and in Hawaiian, it's called kupaloke.

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A fragrant favorite of gardeners, which of these is a climbing plant originally native to the Mediterranean?

The sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) has been cultivated since the 1800s. Specifically, 19th century Scottish horticulturist Henry Eckford was responsible for cross-breeding and cultivating the sweet pea, creating almost half of the available cultivars at the time.

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Which of the following flowers is part of the iris family and is known for its fragrance?

Freesia is a genus with flowers native to eastern Africa and has 16 species, with most from South Africa. Many of the flowers we know as freesia now are cultivars derived from cross-breeding two South African species.

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The sweet nectar of which plant is a delight to children who suck on its blossoms?

If as a child, you've ever tried to suck the nectar out of a honeysuckle flower and lived in the eastern part of the U.S., it was probably the Lonicera maackii species, the Amur honeysuckle (pictured here). It natively grows in Russia, China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan but has been naturalized in the U.S. Honeysuckle plants come in several colors and also come with berries--and the Amur honeysuckle's berries are somewhat poisonous to humans, as are most berries from honeysuckle plants.

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Through its strong, alluring fragrance, this flower tricks pollinators into pollinating it without providing nectar.

Also known as frangipani, the Plumeria genus is a bit of a cruel mistress. By pretending that it has nectar, it attracts the sphinx moth into dipping its tongue into the flower, hopping around from flower to flower, looking fruitlessly for the non-existent nectar. What's pictured here is Plumeria rubra (common names: red frangipani, common frangipani).

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Which flower's common name has species from two different genera?

The genera that heather belong to are Erica and Calluna, distinguished by Calluna's smaller leaves. So Erica heather (usually called heaths), found mainly in South Africa, is at times is dubbed as winter or spring heather, while Calluna heather, mainly found in Europe and Asia, is thought of as summer or autumn heather. Calluna vulgaris (common heather) is pictured here.

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This flower is generally considered as a weed in the U.S. but is valued by European gardeners?

The Solidago genus holds about 120 species of goldenrods, which are found natively mostly in North America, but are also in Europe, Asia and South America. Solidago canadensis (common goldenrod) is pictured here. Despite the stigma of having goldenrod be a weed, for the past four decades or so, some American gardeners have been planting goldenrod in their gardens.

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Sometimes called "flame of the woods," which of these flowers can you find flowering in Florida all year round?

The Ixora genus has close to 600 species of plants. Suriname's national flower, Ixora coccinea (jungle geranium), is pictured here. The Ixora genus is mostly found in tropical Asia, as well as places with subtropical climes, such as in Florida.

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Often confused with the Persian silk tree, which flowering tree is also the name of a popular brunch beverage?

The Mimosa genus has around 400 species of this rapid movement plant, i.e., the leaves close when touched. The Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) has leaves that close at night and during the rain and both flowering plants have pink pom-pon-looking flowers. Mimosa pudica (common name: shameplant) is pictured here.

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Which of the following flowers was an artistic focus of impressionist painter, Claude Monet?

Water lilies come from five different genera, under the Nymphaeaceae family. Altogether, there are around 70 species of water lilies. As it happens with many introductions of plants in non-native environments, some species have water lilies have become invasive and can be difficult to remove.

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A member of the legume family, this climbing vine is a slow grower, taking up to ten years to offer its first bloom.

The genus Wisteria has about ten species including what's pictured here, Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria), which is found in the southeastern region of the U.S. Kentucky wisteria, Wisteria frutescens var. macrostachya, can take up to 20 years to bloom for the first time.

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Which of the following flowers came before bees existed?

With over 200 species, the flowers of the Magnolia genus have an interesting journey in its evolution, with one species' fossils dating back 20 million years. Without bees as pollinators, magnolias had to rely on beetles for pollinations. So to survive those insect encounters, it had to toughen up its carpels or the female reproductive organs of a flower.

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Image: KenWiedemann / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

There are close to 400,000 species of flowering plants in the world! And this quiz is just going to look at at 0.0001% of them. 

Scientifically speaking, plants which produce flowers and seeds are called angiosperms. the first flowering plants appeared on earth about 170 million years ago. About 100 million years after that, they became the dominant seed-producing plant.

Flowers may seem to be created solely for us to enjoy, but they exist solely to get pollinators such as bees and butterflies to help in a plant's reproduction process. Christian Konrad Sprengel, a 18th century German botanist, proved this in his foundational book, The Secret of Nature Revealed.

Our fascination with flowers goes back millennia. One of the earliest books on flowers was De materia medica, written by first-century Greek doctor, Dioscorides. This book, which contained illustrations which diagrammed plants and their flowers, explored the medicinal properties of plants and was foundation for the study of botany. 

Centuries later, Carl Linnaeus, a 18th century Swedish botanist, gave us the classification system or taxonomy that we still use today to classify plants and animals. For example, Helianthus annuus L. is the scientific name for the common sunflower (with L. representing that Linnaeus named the organism).

Are you ready to take a stroll in our virtual garden and identify these flowers in this quiz? We hope you enjoy yourself! Good luck!

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