Andy’s Christmas Hortiquiz

By Andy McIndoe


1 Rose hips


There are times over the holiday period when you might want to challenge the grey matter rather than fall asleep in front of the telly. If you grow tired of charades and scrabble why not have a go at my Christmas hortiquiz. I’ve put together fifty botanical brainteasers for you. Some historical, some taxonomical, some easy and some obscure. I decided not to post the answers at this stage – I’ll leave that to you – post the answers in the comments boxes below if you feel like it – or do challenge the questions.

Do I know the answers? Of course I do……..


2 Saffron crocus


Name the crocus associated with paella, risotto and bouillabaisse (6, 7)


The common name of the spicy, aquatic nasturtium found in fresh water streams (10)


Which bird is associated with Cardamine pratense? (6)


What shape are the leaves of Hedera hibernica ‘Sagittifolia’? (5-6)


Which famous designer is associated with Iford Manor, Wiltshire, England? (6,4)


Where does Scilla peruviana come from? (7,13)


3 Scilla peruviana

What is the common name of Eucalyptus gunnii ? (5, 3)


Where would you find Cornus florida? (5,7)


Who was Strelitzia reginae named for? (5,9)


What’s the Latin name of the curry plant? (11,8)


What colour berries does Ilex aquifolium ‘Bacciflava’ have? (6)


What is a plant that grows independently on another plant known as? (8)


What is Aegopodium podagraria better known as? (6,5)


What does the bulb of Erythronium dens-canis resemble? (4, 5)


Industrialist responsible for much of the development of Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, US (6,2,4)


Referring to a flower, what does the corolla consist of? (6)


Two genera are known as pitcher plants, what are they? (9, 10)


5 Dierrama dracomontanum


A common name for Dierama pulcherrimum (6, 7, 3)


The “bloody dock” , botanically (5, 10)


Common name for the dendrobium (6, 6)


Term used to refer to cabbages, sprouts, broccoli etc. (9)


Flower that sprang from the tears of Helen of Troy (8)


Headgear that the name Tulipa is derived from (6)


6 Tulip 'Temple of Beauty'


Victorian botanical artist with a gallery at Kew Gardens dedicated to her work (8,5)


The bark of this tree is rich in vitamin C and was used to prevent scurvy (6,7)


What does the specific name graveolens mean a plant has? (6, 5)


How would you propagate a clone? (12)


Which hedgerow shrub gets its common name from its use in the manufacture of skewers and bobbins? (8,9)


A plant with the specific name repens creeps along the ground; what else does it do? (5)


Conservatory shrub known as “house lime” or  “African hemp” (10,8)


7 New Zealand Christmas Tree


The New Zealand Christmas Tree (12,7)


Beautiful woodland perennial with leaves and petals in threes (8)


The hardy plumbago (12)


Name given to the leaf stalk (7)


What shape is a leaf described as reniform? (6)


The sap of this tree is used to make maple syrup. (4, 9)


What does sempervirens mean as in Buxus sempervirens? (9)


Which lucky plant hunter has a Euonymus and Trachycarpus named after him? (6,7)


8 Windmill palm


What colour foliage does a plant with the specific name argentea have? (6)


Which deciduous conifer was introduced by John Tradescant? (8,9)


What is the common name given to the Canna? (6,4)


Where would you find Crambe maritima? (8)


Which fruit is botanically known as Vaccinium corymbosum? (9)


Who is reputed to have hanged himself on a Cercis siliquastrum?


9 Cercis siliquastrum

Which yellow, spring blooming shrub belongs to the olive family? (9)


Popular lily you might associate with Humphrey Bogart? (10)


What does angustifolia mean as in Lavandula angustifolia? (6-6)


Where does the giant perennial Gunnera manicata originate from? (6)


Rubber was introduced to Sri Lanka from Brazil via where? (3, 7)


50.  What does Streptocarpus mean? (7, 6)


10 Streptocarpus-


Happy Christmas folks!




Andy McIndoe

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