Basil Trivia Questions and Answers

green leaves in macro lens
  1. What family does basil belong to?
    A: Rosaceae
    B: Lamiaceae
    C: Solanaceae
    D: Asteraceae
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil is part of the Lamiaceae family, also known as the mint family.
  2. Where is basil native to?
    A: Europe
    B: North America
    C: Tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia
    D: Australia
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Basil originates from tropical regions stretching from Central Africa to Southeast Asia.
  3. Which variety of basil is known for its strong lemony smell?
    A: Sweet Basil
    B: Thai Basil
    C: Lemon Basil
    D: Purple Basil
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Lemon Basil has a strong lemony aroma and flavor due to the presence of citral.
  4. What is the scientific name of sweet basil?
    A: Ocimum tenuiflorum
    B: Ocimum basilicum
    C: Ocimum gratissimum
    D: Ocimum americanum
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: The scientific name for sweet basil is Ocimum basilicum.
  5. Which basil variety is often used in Thai cuisine?
    A: Genovese Basil
    B: Thai Basil
    C: Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil
    D: Globe Basil
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Thai basil is commonly used in Thai cuisine.
  6. What are the two main scent compounds found in European basil essential oil?
    A: Linalool and Methyl Chavicol
    B: Eucalyptol and Eugenol
    C: Thymol and Geraniol
    D: Citral and Myrcene
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: European basil essential oil contains high concentrations of linalool and methyl chavicol.
  7. What percentage of Vitamin K is found in 100 grams of basil?
    A: 100%
    B: 200%
    C: 346%
    D: 50%
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Basil contains 346% of the daily value (DV) of Vitamin K per 100 grams.
  8. What is the etymology of the word “basil”?
    A: Derived from Latin “basilius”
    B: Derived from Greek “γεονσιφος”
    C: Derived from Italian “reale”
    D: Derived from French “herbe”
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: The name “basil” comes from the Latin “basilius” and the Greek “βασιλικόν φυτόν” (basilikón phytón), meaning “royal/kingly plant.”
  9. In which climate is basil commonly treated as an annual plant?
    A: Tropical
    B: Temperate
    C: Mediterranean
    D: Subtropical
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: In temperate climates, basil is usually treated as an annual plant due to its sensitivity to cold.
  10. Which part of basil plant is primarily used for its culinary applications?
    A: Flowers
    B: Roots
    C: Leaves
    D: Seeds
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: The leaves of the basil plant are primarily used in cooking.
  11. What type of disease is Fusarium wilt that affects basil plants?
    A: Viral
    B: Bacterial
    C: Fungal
    D: Pest-related
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Fusarium wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease.
  12. How does basil contribute to insect repellent properties?
    A: By altering soil composition
    B: By producing essential oils with repellant properties
    C: By attracting predatory insects
    D: By forming a chemical barrier
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil’s essential oils have been shown to have insect-repellent properties.
  13. What is a common indication that a basil plant has been stressed?
    A: Rapid growth
    B: Yellow leaves at the bottom
    C: Increase in flowering
    D: Brown spots on leaves
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Yellow leaves towards the bottom of the plant often indicate stress, typically from water or nutrient issues.
  14. Which pest is repelled by basil’s essential oil?
    A: Aphids
    B: Carpenter Bees
    C: Mosquitoes
    D: Callosobruchus maculatus
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Callosobruchus maculatus, a pest affecting cowpea, is repelled by basil’s essential oil.
  15. How should fresh basil be used in cooking to preserve its flavor?
    A: Added at the beginning of cooking
    B: Added at the end of cooking
    C: Cooked with other herbs
    D: Boiled thoroughly
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Fresh basil is typically added at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor.
  16. Which variety of basil is known for its purple leaves?
    A: Sweet Basil
    B: Purple Delight
    C: Lemon Basil
    D: Globe Basil
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Purple Delight basil variety is known for its purple leaves.
  17. How are basil seeds used in some Asian cultures?
    A: As a spice
    B: As a garnish
    C: Soaked in water to create gelatinous drinks
    D: Ground into paste
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: In several Asian cultures, basil seeds are soaked in water to become gelatinous and are used in drinks and desserts.
  18. What type of pollen does basil produce?
    A: Monoecious
    B: Entomophilous
    C: Anemophilous
    D: Hydrophilous
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil’s pollination is facilitated by insects, which is known as entomophilous pollination.
  19. What is the main ingredient in the Italian sauce pesto?
    A: Oregano
    B: Basil
    C: Thyme
    D: Rosemary
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil is the primary ingredient in pesto sauce.
  20. What is the recommended growing condition for basil?
    A: Cold and moist
    B: Hot and dry
    C: Warm and shady
    D: Cool and humid
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil grows best in hot, dry conditions.
  21. Which orth Martha basil cultivar has leaves that taste like cinnamon?
    A: Genovese Basil
    B: Cinnamon Basil
    C: Lemon Basil
    D: Purple Basil
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Cinnamon Basil is known for its cinnamon-like flavor.
  22. What is the potential use of basil essential oil against mosquitos?
    A: Food flavoring
    B: Insecticide and repellent
    C: Fertilizer
    D: Herbicide
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil essential oil has been shown to have insecticidal and insect-repelling properties, including potential toxicity to mosquitoes.
  23. Why is basil called “royal herb” in French?
    A: Because it was used in royal dishes
    B: Because it was believed to be used in royal perfumes
    C: Because it grows in royal gardens
    D: Because its flowers are purple
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil is called “l’herbe royale” in French because it was believed to have been used in the production of royal perfumes.
  24. What happens to basil stems once they start producing flowers?
    A: They continue growing leaves
    B: They become woody
    C: Foliage production increases
    D: The plant dies
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Once a basil stem produces flowers, it becomes woody and foliage production stops on that stem.
  25. Why might basil leaves turn yellow towards the bottom of the plant?
    A: Lack of sunlight
    B: Plant stress
    C: Over-fertilization
    D: Excessive root growth
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Yellow leaves towards the bottom of the basil plant usually indicate stress, often from watering issues or nutrient imbalance.
  26. Which essential oil component gives sweet basil its clove scent?
    A: Linalool
    B: 1,8-Cineole
    C: Eugenol
    D: Methyl Eugenol
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: The clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol.
  27. What type of pathogen causes downy mildew in basil?
    A: Bacterial
    B: Fungal
    C: Viral
    D: Pest
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Downy mildew in basil is caused by a fungal pathogen, Peronospora belbahrii.
  28. What is a common foliar disease of basil that can cause severe damage to the crop?
    A: Rust
    B: Gray Mold
    C: Blight
    D: Root Rot
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Gray mold caused by Botrytis cinerea is a common foliar disease that can affect basil.
  29. How can basil be reliably propagated?
    A: By dividing rhizomes
    B: From cuttings suspended in water
    C: By planting seeds in winter
    D: Through grafting
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil can be easily propagated by suspending cuttings in water until roots develop.
  30. What historical use did ancient Egyptians and Greeks believe basil had?
    A: Healing wounds
    B: Opening the gates of heaven for the deceased
    C: Attracting love
    D: Curing common cold
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed basil would open the gates of heaven for a person passing on.
  31. What does the term “entomophilous pollination” mean in the context of basil plants?
    A: Pollination by insects
    B: Pollination by wind
    C: Self-pollination
    D: Pollination by water
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Entomophilous pollination refers to pollination facilitated by insects.
  32. Where should you ideally place an indoor basil plant for optimal growth?
    A: In a shaded corner
    B: On a sun-facing windowsill
    C: Near a heater
    D: In complete darkness
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil plants grow best indoors when placed on a sun-facing windowsill, providing them with ample light.
  33. How often does basil require watering for optimal growth?
    A: Once a month
    B: Rarely
    C: Regularly but not excessively
    D: Constantly flooded
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Basil requires regular watering, but not so much that the soil becomes waterlogged.
  34. What color are the leaves of most basil varieties?
    A: Red
    B: Yellow
    C: Green
    D: Blue
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Most basil varieties have green leaves.
  35. The essential oil from which part of the basil plant shows nematicidal properties?
    A: Seeds
    B: Stems
    C: Roots
    D: Leaves and terminal shoots
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: The essential oil from basil’s leaves and terminal shoots has nematicidal properties.
  36. What type of plant is basil considered in temperate climates?
    A: Biennial
    B: Perennial
    C: Annual
    D: Deciduous
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: In temperate climates, basil is treated as an annual plant.
  37. What does pinching off the flower stems of basil do to the plant?
    A: Increases flower production
    B: Promotes growth of leaves
    C: Stops watering momentarily
    D: Changes leaf coloration
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Pinching off the flower stems promotes the growth of leaves on a basil plant.
  38. What is the primary use of basil in culinary applications?
    A: Seasoning salads
    B: Infusing water
    C: Adding flavor to dishes
    D: Garnishing desserts
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Basil is primarily used to add flavor to various dishes in culinary applications.
  39. What happens when basil is exposed to frost?
    A: It thrives
    B: It turns yellow
    C: It behaves as an annual and might die
    D: It flowers extensively
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Basil behaves as an annual plant and is likely to die if exposed to frost.
  40. What practice can increase basil’s biomass and phenol production when grown indoors?
    A: Using organic soil
    B: Supplemental lighting
    C: Frequent watering
    D: Indoor planting in clay pots
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Supplemental lighting, especially with red and blue spectrums, can increase biomass and phenol production.
  41. What soil condition is best for growing basil?
    A: Well-drained soil
    B: Clay-rich soil
    C: Waterlogged soil
    D: Sandy soil
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Basil grows best in well-drained soil.
  42. What is the main cause of seedling damping-off in basil?
    A: Bacterial infection
    B: Fungal infection by Pythium
    C: Insufficient light
    D: Overwatering
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Seedlings may be killed by Pythium damping-off, a type of fungal infection.
  43. What nutrient is most abundant in basil?
    A: Vitamin C
    B: Vitamin K
    C: Calcium
    D: Iron
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil is particularly high in Vitamin K.
  44. What should a basil plant be kept away from when grown indoors?
    A: Direct sunlight
    B: Cold drafts
    C: Fertilizers
    D: Humidity
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil plants grown indoors should be kept away from extremely cold drafts.
  45. Why should fresh basil be added to dishes at the end of cooking?
    A: It retains its vibrant green color
    B: It keeps its flavor intact
    C: It looks more appealing
    D: It cools down the dish
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Fresh basil is added at the end of cooking to prevent its flavor from being destroyed by heat.
  46. Basil seeds soaked in water are commonly used in which kind of cuisine?
    A: European
    B: African
    C: Asian
    D: South American
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: In Asian cuisine, basil seeds soaked in water are used in various drinks and desserts.
  47. Why is basil considered a significant plant in the Greek Orthodox Church?
    A: It’s used in making holy water
    B: It’s used in their staple diet
    C: It’s a symbol of wealth
    D: Because of its medicinal properties
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Basil is used to prepare and sprinkle holy water in the Greek Orthodox Church.
  48. Which variety of basil is known for its decorative purple leaves?
    A: Genovese Basil
    B: Thai Basil
    C: Mrs. Burns’ Lemon Basil
    D: Purple Delight Basil
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Purple Delight Basil variety is noted for its decorative purple leaves.
  49. In what year was P. belbahrii first reported to cause downy mildew in basil?
    A: 2000
    B: 2003
    C: 2007
    D: 2010
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Downy mildew caused by P. belbahrii was first reported in Italy in 2003.
  50. How does supplemental lighting affect indoor basil plants?
    A: Decreases essential oil production
    B: Increases growth and flower bud production
    C: Reduces leaf size
    D: Changes leaf color to yellow
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Supplemental lighting improves growth and flower bud production in indoor basil plants.
  51. Which essential oil component in basil is synthesized from coniferyl acetate and NADPH?
    A: Eugenol
    B: Linalool
    C: Citral
    D: Estragole
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: In basil, eugenol is synthesized from coniferyl acetate and NADPH.
  52. Which fungal genus causes black spots on basil foliage?
    A: Botrytis
    B: Colletotrichum
    C: Aspergillus
    D: Mucor
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Black spots on basil foliage are caused by the fungal genus Colletotrichum.
  53. How is basil commonly stored for short-term use?
    A: In plastic bags in the refrigerator
    B: In a wooden box on the counter
    C: Suspended in water
    D: Wrapped in aluminum foil
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Fresh basil can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator.
  54. What is a common symptom of fusarium wilt in basil plants?
    A: Leaf curl
    B: Yellowing leaves
    C: Rapid wilting and death
    D: Browning stems
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Fusarium wilt causes rapid wilting and death in younger basil plants.
  55. What is the highest concentration of minerals found in basil?
    A: Potassium
    B: Manganese
    C: Iron
    D: Magnesium
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Manganese is found in high concentration in basil, with 50% of the daily value per 100g.
  56. Which microbial species is found to inhibit electrical activity in pests when exposed to basil essential oil?
    A: E. coli
    B: Novosphingobium species
    C: Lactobacillus
    D: Pseudomonas
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Novosphingobium species are common non-pathogenic bacteria found on basil.
  57. Which basil variety is commonly used to create Italian pesto sauce?
    A: Thai Basil
    B: Genovese Basil
    C: Lemon Basil
    D: Purple Delight Basil
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Genovese Basil is commonly used to make Italian pesto sauce.
  58. What disease affecting basil was discovered in Florida in 2007?
    A: Fungal wilt
    B: Downy mildew
    C: Rust
    D: Bacterial blight
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Downy mildew was reported in Florida in 2007.
  59. How can aphid infestations be prevented in basil crops?
    A: By using chemical pesticides
    B: By incorporating essential oils
    C: By alternating planting locations
    D: Through soil remediation
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Basil essential oils can be used to repel aphids and other pests.
  60. What traditional use does basil have in Portuguese culture during religious holidays?
    A: Given as a gift with a poem
    B: Used to cook traditional dishes
    C: Worn as a garland
    D: Planted in church courtyards
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: In Portugal, dwarf bush basil is traditionally presented in a pot, together with a poem, as a gift on certain religious holidays.

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