Rare Plants Quiz

By: Staff
Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Endangered animals get most of the headlines, but plenty of interesting plants are also facing extinction. How much do you know about rare plants of the world?

What color is the western underground orchid?

These orchids grow entirely underground and the blooms only measure just over an inch.

True or False: The western underground orchid cannot photosynthesize its own food.

The orchid has a symbiotic relationship with a type of fungus found on the roots of broom brush; the fungus help provide sustenance to the orchid.

In which country might you find the Attenborough's pitcher plant?

It is found only on the Victoria Massif in the Philippines.

When was the Attenborough's pitcher plant discovered?

The plant, which probably numbers only in the hundreds, was unknown to recorded science until 2007.

Where would you have found the chocolate cosmos, which is now extinct, in the wild?

The plant, which has a chocolate color and a vanilla scent, was found in Mexico but is now only cultivated by greenhouses for ornamental purposes.

How long do suicide palms live?

They are called suicide palms because they flower once during their 50-year lives and then die months later.

How many suicide palms are there in the wild?

These gigantic trees live only in remote and wild areas of Madagascar.

A perennial herb called the showy stickseed grows only where?

It is found in the Tumwater Canyon in Washington; there are fewer than 1,000 left.

True or False: Rare ghost orchids are relatively easy to cultivate.

Ghost orchids are notoriously difficult for growers to cultivate; they disappear in the wild for years and then suddenly reappear.

The Mammillaria herrerae is a type of cactus better known as what?

These critically endangered cacti really do look like golf balls resting on the soil.

In the past two decades how much of the golf ball cactus population has disappeared?

The population has suffered greatly from criminal collectors, who have contributed to a 95% drop in wild numbers.

Why is the emerald vine, from the Philippines, a prized plant?

It has bright, jade-colored clusters of flowers that add tremendous color to gardens.

True or False: The rare Parrot's Beak can be cultivated by humans.

The plant, originally found in the Canary Islands, may be totally extinct in the wild but it is grown for commercial purposes.

Why do collectors illegally harvest the Venda cycad?

Found only in South Africa, this plant may number just around 200 and might soon be extinct.

Menzies' wallflower is found only on the coast of which state?

These flowers produce bright yellow bunches of blossoms but unfortunately their seedlings rarely survive, leaving their populations at risk.

After being considered extinct, how many of the Gibraltar campion were found in 1994?

From a single specimen, botanists have managed to grow a few others; there are now seeds in secure seed banks.

How many of the Pennantia baylisiana trees are left in the wild?

Scientists may be able to successfully reintroduce the tree to New Zealand, but there is only one mature specimen left.

The jellyfish tree was thought to be extinct until when?

In the 1970s, the tree was found again in Seychelles, a small archipelago off the east coast of Africa.

Where does the jellyfish tree make its home?

The trees love rocky granite areas; there are probably fewer than 100 mature trees left in the world.

What kind of plant is the fadang?

These cycads are listed as endangered in large part due to insect infestations.

When did the Franklin tree become extinct in the wild?

Decimated by disease, fungal infection and overharvesting, the plant disappeared from the southeastern U.S. in the early 1800s.

What is the common name for Acacia anegadensis?

The poke-me-boy tree has wicked-looking spines and is found only on the British Virgin Islands, where it is threatened by rising sea levels.

What color are the blossoms of the Franklin tree?

The trees have white blooms and their leaves turn red in autumn; many people plant them for decorative purposes.

Kokia cookei trees are pollinated mostly by what?

The Hawaiian trees are probably adapted for bird pollination; many of the trees were cut down to make more room for crop land.

When it blooms, rafflesia arnoldii smells like what?

Otherwise known as the corpse flower, it smells like decaying meat to attract insects that assist in pollination.

How long do the blossoms of the corpse flower last?

The repulsive smell lasts longer than you'd hope — the blooms wither after about a week.

How tall are the biggest corpse flowers?

These enormous plants can reach 12 feet tall and weigh more than 150 pounds.

Cladonia perforata lichen are found in which U.S. state?

The extremely rare lichen is found in Florida; it was listed as endangered in 1993.

Before being found again, for how long was the Ascension Island parsley fern considered extinct?

In 2009, scientists stumbled upon a few plants, which researchers thought had become extinct a half-century earlier.

How many of the Ascension Island parsley ferns did scientists find in 2009?

Those four plants gave way to a few dozen others, but the population is still miniscule.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes