Try our Springtime Plant Quiz

Thanks to the recent rains in the Cape and around the country, experts say that this flower season is set to be one for the books. To get you ready for this phenomenon, we’ve compiled a flower quiz to test the budding botanists out there. Give it a go and let us know what you score out of 10 on our Facebook page.

Springtime Plant Quiz

  • Question 1

  • Spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Succulent. Member of the Asphodelaceae family. Distribution and habitat: Open grassland from the coast to about 1 500m mainly in KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, and Mpumalanga. Flowering period: September to March. Uses: Young shoots and flowers are cooked and eaten as vegetables by the Zulu people. Smoke from burning leaves is believed to protect cattle from eating unsuitable food. Wildlife: Nectar attracts sunbirds.
  • Question 2

  • Test your knowledge in our spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Member of the vast Asteraceae (Daisy) family. Afrikaans common name: Skraaldisseldoring. Speciosa which means beautiful. Distribution and habitat: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Eastern Cape. Grows in colonies in full sun in open grassland. Flowering period: September to February. Used in traditional medicine to treat bilharzia, stomach problems and to bathe sore eyes. Wildlife: A magnet for invertebrates.
  • Question 3

  • Spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Member of the Fabaceae (Pea or Legume) family. Common name: Dwarf Coral Tree. A shrub or deciduous tree; popular tree for small gardens. Distribution and habitat: From Eastern Cape, through KwaZulu-Natal to Limpopo and southern Mozambique. Sunny position in bushveld, grassland, coastal dunes and rocky slopes. Flowering period: Unlike the larger species of Erythrina that bloom in late winter or at the start of spring , this particular plant flowers through summer. Uses: Both the bark and root are used in traditional medicine. Wildlife: Attracts nectar-feeding birds and insects.
  • Question 4

  • This spring time plant quiz is quite tough
    Clues: Member of the Crassulaceae (Crassula) family. Name derivation: Cotyledon is from the Greek kotyledon meaning cup-shaped hollow which describes the leaves of some species. Orbiculata means disc-shaped. Additional common name: Plakkies. Succulent. Distribution and habitat: Widespread, but usually confined to rocky outcrops in grassland and bushveld. Flowering period: Throughout the year. Uses: Used to treat warts, corns, earache, toothache, and boils (hence Afrikaans name, plakkie). Wildlife: Nectar attracts birds and bees.
  • Question 5

  • Try your luck with our spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Common names: Balloon Cottonbush, Hairy Ball. Name derivation: physo means bladdery; carpus means fruit. This refers to the inflated fruits. Distribution and habitat: Widespread, occurring in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and northwards to Kenya. Grassland and bushveld, often along roadsides and in disturbed areas, from the coast to 900m above sea level. Flowers: Not as visible as the inflated seedpods but exquisite, resembling upside-down maids’ caps. Flowering period: Throughout the year. Uses: Used in traditional medicine to treat warts, stomach ailments, and headaches. Stems used for fibre. Wildlife: Considered a weed in places but is an excellent butterfly plant especially for African Monarchs.
  • Question 6

  • Give our spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Family: Amaryllidaceae. Common name: White Paint Brush. Distribution and habitat: Wide, mainly coastal distribution stretching from the southern Cape through many parts of the Eastern Cape, up to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. Unlike most other species of this genus, which prefer full sun, this particular plant almost always occurs in shady habitat in thickets and forests. Flowering period: May to September. Uses: In traditional medicine used to treat coughs and is believed to protect against lightning.
  • Question 7

  • Tackle our spring time plant quiz
    Clues: Member of Hypoxidaceae (Star-flower) family that have tuberous rhizomes or corms and fibrous leaves. Common name: Broad-leaved Hypoxis. Habitat: Sandy or poor soils in grassland. Flowering period: August to February. Uses: In much demand for traditional medicine as a remedy for impotence, barrenness, hysterical fits, as a love charm and to treat HIV-Aids. High demand could be impacting on naturally-occurring populations of this magnificent plant.
  • Question 8

  • This spring time plant quiz is quite a challenge
    Clues: Family: Lamiaceae (Sage/Mint family). Name derivation: pyknos means dense; stachys – a spike; urticifolia – nettle-like leaves. Distribution and habitat: Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, extending to Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Grassland and bushveld areas, often in marshy places, along stream banks or forest margins. Flowering period: late autumn. Uses: No known medicinal uses. Wildlife: Food for grasshoppers, and the flowers are visited by bees and butterflies.
  • Question 9

  • Give our Spring time plant quiz a go
    Clues: Family: Apocynaceae. Stapelias are named after Dutch botanist and physician Johannes van Stapel who died in 1636. Known globally as African starfish flowers, and locally as carrion flowers, members of the genus Stapelia are usually characterised by their foul-smelling flowers reminiscent of the odour of rotting meat. Distribution and habitat: Arid, sparsely vegetated areas, in thicket from Eastern Cape to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The flower is one of the largest in the plant kingdom. Flowering period: March to May. Uses: Used in traditional medicine to treat pain and fits of hysteria but said to be poisonous. Wildlife: The putrid smell of the flowers attracts flies and other insects for pollination. The odour deceives flies into laying their eggs around the fleshy corona which appears to them as a food source for their hatching larvae.
  • Question 10

  • Can you get everything correct in our spring time plant quiz?
    Clues: Common names: Misty Plume Bush, Ginger Bush, Iboza. Distribution and habitat: KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Province, Mpumalanga and through to Swaziland, Namibia, Angola and northwards through tropical east Africa into Ethiopia. Wooded hillsides in frost-free areas. Flowers: Lavender-scented male and female flowers on separate plants. The male flower spikes in profusion to create more of a "mist" effect than the more compact female flowers. The flowers usually appear when the plants are bare and are carried in the top section of the branches. Flowering period: June to August. Uses: In traditional medicine helps to treat malaria, stomach aches, chest complaints. Wildlife: A magnet to bees and other invertebrates which in turn attract insectivorous birds.
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Words and photography Andrea Abbot

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