African Violet Trivia Questions and Answers

a group of purple flowers sitting on top of a leaf

1: Which region is the native habitat of the African violet?
A: South America
B: Eastern Tropical Africa
C: Southeast Asia
D: Central Europe
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: African violets are native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa.

2: What was the genus originally assigned to African violets before molecular studies reclassified them?
A: Streptocarpus
B: Viola
C: Saintpaulia
D: Orchis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets were originally treated as the genus Saintpaulia.

3: What do African violets get their common name from?
A: Their origin in Africa
B: Their resemblance to true violets
C: The scent of their flowers
D: The shape of their leaves
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The common name “African violet” comes from their resemblance to true violets in the genus Viola.

4: What is the scientific name of the African violet after the reclassification?
A: Streptocarpus ionanthus
B: Streptocarpus alba
C: Streptocarpus goetzeanus
D: Streptocarpus brevipilosus
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The African violet’s scientific name after reclassification is Streptocarpus ionanthus.

5: Which plant size classification for African violets is defined as having an above-ground diameter of less than 3 inches?
A: Mini
B: Super-mini
C: Micro
D: Standard
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Plants classified as “Micro” have an above-ground diameter of less than 3 inches.

6: What type of temperature sensitivity is particularly notable in African violets?
A: Extreme heat tolerance
B: Rapid leaf cooling
C: Frost resistance
D: High humidity tolerance
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: African violets are highly sensitive to rapid leaf cooling, which can cause leaf discoloration.

7: How are African violets most commonly propagated?
A: By seeds
B: By grafting
C: Through leaf cuttings and tissue culture
D: By spores
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets are generally propagated through leaf cuttings and tissue culture.

8: In which movie does an African violet appear among a collection of plants shown by an ex-president?
A: Casablanca
B: The Great Escape
C: Amistad
D: Gone with the Wind
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: An African violet appears in the movie “Amistad” in the flower collection of ex-president John Quincy Adams.

9: What is the typical diameter range for a plant classified as a “Standard” size African violet?
A: 4-6 inches
B: 6-8-10 inches
C: 8-10 to 12-16 inches
D: Over 16 inches
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: A “Standard” size African violet has a diameter of 8-10 to 12-16 inches.

10: What field study confirmed the reclassification of Saintpaulia species into the genus Streptocarpus?
A: Ecological study
B: Horticultural study
C: Molecular phylogenetic study
D: Paleobotanical study
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: A molecular phylogenetic study confirmed the reclassification of Saintpaulia species into the genus Streptocarpus.

11: What is the local Kisambaa name for African violets?
A: Nyahura
B: Dughulushi
C: Usambara
D: Giriama
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The local Kisambaa name for African violets is Dughulushi.

12: When did Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire send seeds of the African violet back to Germany?
A: 1885
B: 1892
C: 1902
D: 1910
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire sent seeds back to Germany in 1892.

13: Which flower part is referred to as “petals” in African violets?
A: Sepals
B: Corolla
C: Stamen
D: Pistil
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The corolla of African violets, which is velvety and five-lobed, is commonly referred to as “petals.”

14: Which colonial power was in control of the region where African violets were first discovered?
A: British
B: French
C: German
D: Portuguese
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Germans colonialized the region where African violets were discovered.

15: What conservation status has been assigned to Streptocarpus ionanthus?
A: Critically Endangered
B: Extinct
C: Near-threatened
D: Vulnerable
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Streptocarpus ionanthus has been classed as near-threatened.

16: Which order do African violets belong to?
A: Rosales
B: Lamiales
C: Ericales
D: Asterales
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: African violets belong to the order Lamiales.

17: What hybrid flower primarily comes from breeding with Streptocarpus ionanthus?
A: Desert Rose
B: African Violet
C: Hibiscus
D: Orchid
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Most cultivars available as house plants come from breeding Streptocarpus ionanthus, commonly known as African violets.

18: What is the impact of spilling cold water on African violet leaves?
A: Enhances growth
B: Causes leaf discoloration
C: Attracts pests
D: Strengthens roots
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Spilling cold water on African violet leaves causes discoloration due to rapid cooling of the leaves.

19: How many species were recognized in the genus Streptocarpus as of March 2020?
A: 6
B: 10
C: 20
D: 50
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: As of March 2020, ten species were recognized in the genus Streptocarpus.

20: Who officially described the genus Saintpaulia in 1893?
A: Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire
B: Hermann Wendland
C: Sir John Kirk
D: Reverend W.E. Taylor
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hermann Wendland scientifically described the genus Saintpaulia in 1893.

21: What is the day-neutral characteristic of African violets regarding?
A: Water needs
B: Leaf color
C: Flower development
D: Root structure
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violet is a day-neutral plant regarding flower development.

22: What kind of texture do African violet leaves have?
A: Smooth
B: Fleshy
C: Scaly
D: Woody
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaves of African violets have a fleshy texture.

23: What caused a revision and reduction of Saintpaulia species to subspecies under S. ionantha?
A: High-altitude exposure
B: Hybrid vigor
C: Genetic and morphological studies
D: Climate change impact
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Genetic and morphological studies caused the revision and reduction of Saintpaulia species to subspecies under S. ionantha.

24: What popular usage occurs during holidays in relation to African violets in the developed world?
A: They are often sold as landscaping plants
B: They were historically used in perfumes
C: They become a traditional gift
D: They are often used to produce essential oils
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In the developed world, African violets have become a traditional gift during holidays.

25: What common misleading factor is associated with the name “African violet”?
A: They are true violets
B: They produce edible fruits
C: They can only grow in Africa
D: They belong to the Violaceae family
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Despite their common name, African violets are not closely related to true violets.

26: Which of the following species was named after the area Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire administered?
A: Streptocarpus ulugurensis
B: Streptocarpus albus
C: Streptocarpus ionanthus
D: Streptocarpus goetzeanus
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Streptocarpus ionanthus was named in association with Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire’s region.

27: What is the primary benefit of tissue culture for propagating African violets?
A: Enhanced leaf color
B: Greater resistance to pests
C: Higher propagation efficiency
D: Increased stem length
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Tissue culture allows for higher propagation efficiency for African violets.

28: Which country is primarily associated with the biodiverse Eastern Arc Usambara Mountains, where African violets are found?
A: Kenya
B: Tanzania
C: Uganda
D: Rwanda
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Eastern Arc Usambara Mountains, where African violets are found, are primarily located in Tanzania.

29: What role does the African Violet Society of America play?
A: Regulates water pH levels
B: Registers cultivars internationally
C: Manages greenhouse gases
D: Certifies organic plants
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The African Violet Society of America is the International Cultivar Registration Authority for African violet cultivars.

30: What was discovered by Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire that led to the scientific description of Saintpaulia?
A: A new leaf pigmentation
B: Plant seeds
C: Protective resin
D: Edible roots
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire discovered plant seeds that led to the scientific description of Saintpaulia.

31: How are African violets classified in terms of their flowering behavior?
A: Summer flowering
B: Winter flowering
C: Day-neutral
D: Night-flowering
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets are day-neutral in terms of their flowering behavior.

32: What does “semi-mini” classification represent in African violets?
A: A smaller leaf variety
B: A specific flower color
C: A size between 6 and 8-10 inches
D: Resistance to drought
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The “semi-mini” classification represents a size between 6 and 8-10 inches.

33: What kind of study was critical in reclassifying African violets from Saintpaulia to Streptocarpus?
A: Geological
B: Genetic
C: Astronomical
D: Meteorological
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Genetic studies were critical in reclassifying African violets.

34: Which book best describes the cultivation advice for African violets?
A: “The African Violet Handbook”
B: “The Orchid Whisperer”
C: “Gardening for Beginners”
D: “Houseplants 101”
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: “The African Violet Handbook” would best describe detailed cultivation advice for African violets.

35: What year did Hermann Wendland scientifically describe the genus Saintpaulia?
A: 1885
B: 1893
C: 1900
D: 1940
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hermann Wendland described the genus Saintpaulia in 1893.

36: What is the common name used for African violets in the florist trade?
A: Houseleaf Violets
B: African Violets
C: Rainforest Petals
D: Cloud Forest Blooms
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: In the florist trade, they are commonly referred to as African violets.

37: Why are African violets preferred as house plants?
A: They have a strong fragrance
B: They are tolerant to extreme heat
C: They can flower most of the year
D: They require minimal light
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets are preferred as house plants because they can flower during most of the year.

38: Which botanical enthusiasts collected and submitted specimens of African violets before they were scientifically described?
A: Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace
B: John Kirk and W.E. Taylor
C: Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland
D: Gregor Mendel and Carl Linnaeus
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Sir John Kirk and the Reverend W.E. Taylor collected and submitted specimens in the 1880s.

39: When did the reclassification of Saintpaulia into Streptocarpus occur?
A: 1800
B: 1920
C: 2012
D: 2015
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The reclassification of Saintpaulia into Streptocarpus occurred in 2012.

40: African Violets can be a traditional gift for what occasions?
A: Birthdays
B: Weddings
C: High school graduations
D: All of the above
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: African violets can be a traditional gift for various occasions including birthdays, weddings, and graduations.

41: Which scientific clade do African violets belong to?
A: Basal Angiosperms
B: Magnoliids
C: Eudicots
D: Monocots
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets belong to the clade Eudicots.

42: What was determined about Saintpaulia species in a 2006 study regarding their number of species?
A: Expanded to 50
B: Reduced to 6
C: Stayed at 20
D: Became one species
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The number of species was reduced to six in a 2006 study.

43: Which Streptocarpus species is known for its white flowers?
A: Streptocarpus ionanthus
B: Streptocarpus nitidus
C: Streptocarpus albus
D: Streptocarpus goetzeanus
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Streptocarpus albus is known for its white flowers.

44: What varied flower colors do wild African violets have?
A: Yellow and orange
B: Violet, purple, pale blue, and white
C: Red and pink
D: Green and brown
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Wild species of African violets can have violet, purple, pale blue, or white flowers.

45: How do sudden temperature changes affect African violets?
A: There is no effect
B: It promotes more flowering
C: It inhibits leaf growth
D: It causes cell vacuole collapse
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Rapid leaf cooling can cause cell vacuole collapse in African violets.

46: Which of the following species is characterized as near-threatened?
A: Streptocarpus nitidus
B: Streptocarpus ionanthus
C: Streptocarpus afroviola
D: Streptocarpus albus
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Streptocarpus ionanthus is characterized as near-threatened.

47: What does the term “asexually propagated” imply for African violets?
A: They are grown from seeds
B: They require grafting
C: They can be grown from leaf cuttings
D: They need to pollinate flowers first
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets are commonly grown from leaf cuttings.

48: What modern cultivation method is used to produce most commercially available African violets?
A: Soil layering
B: Grafting
C: Hydroponics
D: Tissue culture
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Most commercially available African violets are produced using tissue culture.

49: Which movie features an African violet as recognized by a leading character?
A: The Notebook
B: Amistad
C: Pride and Prejudice
D: The Matrix
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: African violets are recognized by the lead character in the movie “Amistad.”

50: During what activity did Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire discover African violets?
A: Climbing a mountain
B: Walking in the rainforest
C: Swimming in a river
D: Digging in a garden
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire discovered African violets while walking in the rainforest.

51: How many main sizes are African violets classified into based on their diameter?
A: 2
B: 4
C: 6
D: 8
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violets are classified into six main sizes based on their diameter.

52: What year did Sir John Kirk and Reverend W.E. Taylor submit African violet specimens to the Royal Botanic Gardens?
A: 1825 and 1830
B: 1865 and 1870
C: 1884 and 1887
D: 1900 and 1910
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: They submitted specimens to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1884 and 1887.

53: Which type of environment do African violets naturally prefer?
A: Desert
B: Cloud forest
C: High mountain peaks
D: Coastal wetlands
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: African violets naturally prefer cloud forest habitats.

54: What is the botanical name for the slender stalks that hold African violet flowers?
A: Stolons
B: Rhizomes
C: Peduncles
D: Petioles
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: African violet flowers grow on slender stalks called peduncles.

55: What is a unique environmental trait of the Eastern Arc Usambara Mountains?
A: They are arid regions
B: They host diverse ecosystems
C: They are composed entirely of limestone
D: They have no plant life
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Eastern Arc Usambara Mountains are known for their diverse ecosystems.

56: When did the area’s official German colonization occur?
A: 1700s
B: 1850s
C: 1885
D: 1920s
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The official German colonization of the area occurred in 1885.

57: What makes African violets durable as house plants?
A: Their water storage ability
B: Their resistance to direct sunlight
C: Their ability to tolerate neglect
D: Their air purification qualities
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: They are fairly durable to neglect, making them popular house plants.

58: Who were the primary collectors who submitted poor-quality specimens before Baron Walter von Saint Paul-Illaire?
A: John Quincy Adams
B: John Kirk and Reverend W.E. Taylor
C: Sir Isaac Newton
D: Leonardo da Vinci
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Sir John Kirk and the Reverend W.E. Taylor submitted poor-quality specimens in the 1880s.

59: What problem is specifically noted when cold water spills on African violet leaves?
A: Leaf expansion
B: Flower degradation
C: Leaf discoloration
D: Increased fruiting
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Cold water spilling on leaves causes discoloration due to rapid leaf cooling.

60: What aspect of the African violet contributed to its renaming within the genus Streptocarpus in 2015?
A: Root system studies
B: Flower shape similarities
C: Embedded genetic traits
D: Leaf texture analysis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Embedded genetic traits confirmed that African violets should be

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