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Liliaceae Quiz

One of the larger families of perennials is the lilies, with a few interesting facts and trivia. See how much you know, and determine if you are:

9-10 correct = Lily expert
7-8 correct = Lily specialist
5-6 correct = Lily aficionado
3-4 correct = Lily fancier
1-2 correct = Lily enthusiast
none correct = Average lily gardener

For answers, click in the blank space to the right of the "answer" after each question and hold down the left mouse button in order to read it and keep it from disappearing!

1. This species was possibly the first plant grown strictly for its flowers. It has been found on Minoan frescoes in Crete dating over 3500 years old.

answer1: Lilium candidum, the Madonna Lily; the latter name dates only from the 1800s, as this white flower was a symbol of purity and associated with the Virgin Mary

2. This lily is found in damp areas of western North America, so is good for bog gardens as well as not so boggy soils in temperate gardens elsewhere. It is known as the leopard lily from the black spots on the orange flowers.

answer2: Lilium pardalinum

3. This family member blooms in fall, is generally pink, and comes from subalpine meadows of the Pontus and Caucasus mountains. Because the flowers appear before the leaves, it has been called "naked ladies".

answer3: Colchicum speciosum

4. This native of damp meadows of northern Europe is often found in fields by the tens of thousands. It is generally purple spotted white, giving rise to names of Guinea Hen lily, Snakes Head lily, or Chequered lily.

answer4: Fritillaria meleagris

5. The Easter Lily, Lilium longiflorum, is originally native to where?

answer5: Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan

6. The Regal Lily, Lilium regale, was discovered by whom on the hills of western China in the Sichuan Province in 1903.

answer6: Ernest Wilson, who sent 300 bulbs to his employer, the famous nursery in England at that time of James Veitch and Sons.

7. This North American native was one of the first lilies introduced from there to Europe in the 1600s. It was used by LeNotre in gardens he designed for Louis XIV of France. It is a turks cap type, with golden orange flowers.

answer7: Lilium canadensis, the Canada lily

8. This member has red and yellow flowers, and is the national floral emblem of Zimbabwe.

answer8: Gloriosa superba, Gloriosa lily

9. Clusius is credited as father of the dutch bulb industry, arriving in Leiden in 1593. However it was really this man who found the tulips and other bulbs in gardens of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) in the mid 1500s and sent them to Clusius who was then Imperial Gardener in Vienna.

answer9: Ogier Ghiselin dee Busbecq, an ambassador and gardener

10. One of Clusius best known introductions was sent to him in Vienna in 1576, and named after Clusius' position there. What is it?

answer10: Crown Imperial, Fritillaria imperialis


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