Can You Name All of These American Wildflowers?

SCIENCE

By: Sameena Mughal

6 Min Quiz

Do you know the name of these trumpet-shaped flowers?

Virginia bluebells grow from pink buds into light blue petals that form a trumpet shape. When these wildflowers grow in thick clusters, they put on quite the display, especially in the Midwest.

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What do you call this plant native to Kansas?

When the eye-catching flowers of the Dakota verbena bloom, they stay awhile. They are in a continuous bloom throughout the spring and summer. These flowers stand out among the other plants around them because they rest on 18-inch-high stalks.

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This member of the lily family could be friends with a frog. Can you name it?

Slow and steady wins the race for the perennial called toadshade. The wildflower gets its name for its similarity in size to a toad and an umbrella. It takes its time growing and expanding, but when it does, it can live up to 25 years.

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Do you recognize this citrusy bloom found in the South?

The Dahlberg daisy is a plant that grows low to the ground and makes a petite border for a garden. The splash of orange makes a fairy garden pop or any garden trail that a creative gardener cooks up.

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Can you recognize this purple pineapple of a flower?

At first glance, this unusual looking flower looks like a thistle. It's actually a relative of roots like parsley and carrot and is edible. Still, its indigo coloring makes it a lovely part of an arrangement.

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What is the name of this native of Georgia?

The piedmont azalea signals springtime in Georgia. It can grow well in the woods or a local's home garden. It's spread out all through the Southeast among coastal plains and mountainous regions.

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This coastal wildflower is pretty like its name. What do you call it?

Although more red than pink, Indian pink wildflowers grow in every season. The red bulbs hold bursts of yellow petals that form a star, making them irresistible to local hummingbirds.

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Can you tell us the name of this wildflower that represents eternal sleep in Greek mythology?

The celandine poppy can be found up and down the east coast of the United States. In Greek and Roman mythology, other varieties of the wildflower were placed on tombstones and represented the blood of soldiers on a battlefield.

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What are these drought-tolerant wildflowers that cover the plains of North America called?

Blanket flowers can come in one or two shades. Besides red and yellow, they can come in a bronze color and have a purplish base. They bloom in summertime throughout the southern part of the United States.

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Can you say the name of this flower of the Lone Star state?

Texas bluebonnets are wildflowers that grow like wildfire. They appear quickly in the soil. When they do, they add nitrogen, making it easier for other breeds of annuals and perennials to come in.

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What is this cavity-giver of the southwest called?

At the center of the chocolate daisy are brown buds that unleash a smell of cocoa that will tickle the palate of any sweet lover. This "cocoa-licious" aroma is especially attractive to various insects, too.

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Do you recognize this tree-climber also known as "poor man's rope?"

This rough-stemmed, colorful native of the Carolinas has a knack for climbing on the trunks of trees and random telephone poles. You shouldn't climb after the Carolina Jessamine, though, as it is extremely toxic.

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What is the name of this flower that's the same as a color of the rainbow?

A long-spurred violet gets its name for what it is. It has lengthy spurs hidden behind its sagging flower heads with a violet color. The drooping flower petals add to this wildflower's mystique.

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Can you name this southwestern wildflower that is also called the "babysitter bush?"

Found in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona, the Agarita is a wildflower with many uses. Birds and other animals make nests in it, and it also makes fruit that supplies the sweetest juice.

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What do you call this lilac bloom of the southwest?

In Buddhism, wisteria symbolizes humility. But there is nothing humble about this lavender-hued beauty with a touch of yellow that grows in droves all over the eastern and south-central areas of the country.

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Can you tell us the name of this bloom that has biblical significance?

The Jesuits who named the passionflower alluded to the suffering of Christ. To them, the petals symbolized the 10 loyal apostles. The corona represented the crown of thorns, and the five stamens were the five wounds.

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Do you know this godly and princely wildflower found all over the U.S.?

The Maxmillian sunflower is named for the prince who discovered it, and it was a symbol of the Incan sun god. In other cultures, its seeds were spread over gravesites to sustain the dead on their way to the next world.

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This flower shares its name with a bird. Can you name it?

A bold and brilliant red, the cardinal flower is, as naturalist John Burroughs said, "color itself." It hides in shade and woods, but that didn't stop Native Americans from using its roots for love potions.

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Do you recognize this bushy, spindly member of the mint family?

Wild bergamot grows throughout the state of Illinois. The plant has leafy stems that allow it to spread throughout various prairies, woodlands, savannas, limestone glades and landfills.

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What are these pinwheels that shine in the fields in autumn called?

Fall asters get their name from the Greek word for "star." Centuries ago, these wildflowers were believed to have magical properties, and people used them to protect themselves from evil.

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For whom it tolls. This perennial is named for what it looks like. Do you know it?

Bellflowers grow freely in the wild but are popular as a border plant with its bright purple, bell-shaped petals. These plants are tall and can grow up to 3 feet high in the woods or hedgerows.

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What do you call this threaded vegetable of California?

The fringed onion is native to California and can only be found there. Although pale pink and white types can be found, the most common variety is the deep purple plant with six fanned-out petals.

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Can you name for us this milkweed that you can find from Canada to Florida?

The butterfly weed is a bright orange wildflower that is easy to grow. It can even survive in dry soil. It is especially important for Monarch butterflies who feeds off its nectar.

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Do you know the name of this plant that was used to stuff beds?

Lady's bedstraw started off in Europe and Asia, but immigrants brought it to North America, and it now grows naturally in the United States. At one time, it was used to fill mattresses and pillows.

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What is this crown-like flower that looks like cow parsley?

Also known as Queen Anne's lace, wild carrot started off in Europe and southwest Asia but now grows in Illinois and Ohio. It takes two years to grow, starting with its roots, stems and leaves, then flowering sometime in its second year.

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Can you say the name of this flashy flower of the East?

The showy goldenrod is a late-season flower that provides nectar deep into fall when other plants are done blooming for the season. It grows to about 5 feet tall, making it ideal for larger areas of land.

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What are these spiky sparks of indigo that grow in the mountains called?

Tailcup lupine wildflowers grow in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains. These towering indigo plants can be placed in the front part of a wide meadow or in the bed of a garden.

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Can you say the name of this silver-white shrub found all over the United States?

Prairie sage is also known as white sage. It is found all over the country as well as other parts of North America. It can be used medicinally for stomach ailments, and its smoke can be used for ceremonial purposes, too.

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This plant needs to come out of its shell. What do you call it?

Also known as a snakehead or snake mouth, the turtlehead is found near banks, rivers and other watery areas along the East Coast. It is a low-maintenance wildflower that adds to a natural landscape or home garden.

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This wildflower and herb is a staple of wetlands and bogs. Can you name it?

The yellow buttercup marsh marigold or cowslip is an herb but cannot be used medicinally as it is poisonous. In order to make them usable, they have to be soaked in water and cooked.

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Do you recognize this West Coast bloomer?

Wild tarragon grows in the western part of the United States from June to October. It grows on the side of the road, in fields and in canyons. It's used for cooking and herb medicine.

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Can you name this zizia wildflower that belongs to the carrot family?

Golden Alexanders, also referred to as golden zizia, are native to the part of the country east of the Rocky Mountains. They are early bloomers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

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Can you name these endangered orchids of the Northeast?

While the Adam and Eve orchid is rare in Pennsylvania, it is on the endangered list in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. At one time, it was used to fix crockery that settlers broke.

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Also the name of a little rascal, this plant grows all over the country. What is it called?

Alfalfa has been widely used to feed livestock, but it has other uses. In American folk medicine, it has been used as a tonic, and the dried leaf has been used in herbal teas, powders and tablets.

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Can you name this wildflower found on the coast of California?

Belladonna lilies are native to South Africa, but within the last 200 years, they have become common on the California coast. They tend to bloom in summer and have six petals and cluster in groups of at least six.

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What is the name of this sparkler found in New Mexico, California and Arizona?

Watch out for the pixie dust with the fairy duster. Although it resembles a Fourth of July sparkler, this wildflower blooms from February to May and thrives in desert, sand and rock.

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This blue pinwheel is called what?

Although the chicory is native to Europe, it now grows all over the United States. The plant has roots and leaves that are edible and is often used as a coffee substitute. It is also known as coffee weed.

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Do you recognize this European import that resembles a lotus?

The pale flax is native to Europe but avid gardeners made a place for it in central to northern California and Oregon. It has five petals that range in color from light blue to light purple.

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What is this wildflower of the western forest that resembles grapes?

Woodland pinedrops is a unique wildflower in the western states between the Rockies and the Pacific. It produces no chlorophyll or leaves. Instead, it has oval, cream-yellow flowers dotted on a brownish-red spike of a stalk.

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What do you call this tiny primrose flower?

Rock jasmine is small and unassuming with its five-petaled flowers shaped like starfish grown on its stalks. It commonly grows in the Rocky Mountains states and favors rocky crevices to grow in, hence the name.

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Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region via WikiCommons

About This Quiz

Wildflowers are special because they don't need help from humans to grow. These flowers are found all over the prairies, mountains and forests of the United States. More than 10,000 species of wildflowers grow here, and most of them are native to this country. While stunning to look at, wildflowers have a unique history and contribute to the sustenance of local wildlife.

One flower with historical significance is jimsonweed. Its name comes from "Jamestown Weed," and it is a reference to the soldiers of the American Revolution who had to harvest this plant for food but suffered from hallucinations in the process. Native American tribes also used it in their ceremonies.

Many wildflowers produce nectar that pollen-producing insects like bees and mosquitoes need to survive. Others provide food for butterfly larvae that ensure their survival.

Besides, these flowers add to the natural landscape and make stellar additions to the gardens of people all over the country. Many varieties exist coast-to-coast throughout the United States, brightening the views of people who look at them.

Do you know your wildflowers from your houseplants? Take a look at the pictures we have put together and see how much of a flower enthusiast you are! Have fun!


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