Boston Fern Trivia Questions and Answers

green ferns field

1: What is the common name for the species Nephrolepis exaltata?
A: Sword Fern
B: Boston Fern
C: Blue Bell Fern
D: All of the above
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Nephrolepis exaltata is commonly known as the sword fern, Boston fern, and blue bell fern.

2: What is the conservation status of the Boston fern according to the IUCN?
A: Endangered
B: Vulnerable
C: Least Concern
D: Extinct
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The IUCN lists the Boston fern as “Least Concern,” indicating it is not currently at risk of extinction.

3: How high can the evergreen Boston fern grow?
A: Up to 2 feet
B: Up to 3 feet
C: Up to 4 feet
D: Up to 5 feet
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: In extreme cases, the Boston fern can grow up to 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches) tall.

4: Where is the Boston fern native to?
A: Asia
B: Europe
C: Americas
D: Australia
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern is native to the Americas.

5: Which characteristic best describes the pinnae (leaflets) of the Boston fern?
A: Smooth and rounded
B: Deltoid and slightly serrate
C: Linear and smooth-edged
D: Broad and wavy
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The pinnae of the Boston fern are generally deltoid and slightly serrate.

6: How long can the fronds of a Boston fern grow?
A: 10-50 cm
B: 20-98 cm
C: 30-120 cm
D: 40-250 cm
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The fronds of a Boston fern can grow between 50-250 centimeters (20-98 inches) long.

7: What mutation in the Boston fern was discovered in a shipment to Boston from Philadelphia in 1894?
A: Boston fern ‘Todeoides’
B: Boston fern ‘Elegantissima’
C: Boston fern ‘Bostoniensis’
D: Boston fern ‘Rooseveltii’
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern ‘Bostoniensis’ mutation, known for its gracefully arching fronds, was discovered in a shipment in 1894.

8: In which type of environment does the Boston fern thrive?
A: Dry and sunny
B: Humid and shady
C: Cold and wet
D: Windy and exposed
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern thrives in humid and shady environments.

9: Where is Nephrolepis exaltata often grown as a house plant?
A: In hanging baskets
B: In dry soil
C: In full sun
D: In windy areas
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Nephrolepis exaltata, or Boston fern, is often grown in hanging baskets due to its trailing fronds.

10: What USDA plant hardiness zones are suitable for the Boston fern?
A: 1-3
B: 4-6
C: 7-9
D: 9-11
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The Boston fern is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 9-11.

11: How should you care for a Boston fern when the relative humidity falls below around 80%?
A: Water it more frequently
B: Reduce its light exposure
C: Mist the plant
D: Move it to a colder area
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: It’s necessary to mist the Boston fern when relative humidity falls below around 80%.

12: What type of light conditions does the Boston fern prefer indoors?
A: Full sun
B: Partial shade
C: Bright filtered light
D: No light
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Indoors, the Boston fern responds best to bright filtered light.

13: How is the Boston fern usually propagated?
A: By seeds
B: By cuttings
C: By division of rooted runners
D: By grafting
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern is usually propagated by division of the rooted runners.

14: Is the Boston fern toxic to pets?
A: Highly toxic
B: Moderately toxic
C: Mildly toxic
D: Non-toxic
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The Boston fern is known to be non-toxic to pets.

15: Which of the following is not a cultivar of the Boston fern?
A: ‘Teddy Junior’
B: ‘Sonata’
C: ‘Montana’
D: ‘Orchid Beauty’
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: ‘Orchid Beauty’ is not listed as a cultivar of the Boston fern.

16: Which species is often confused with the Boston fern and is considered invasive?
A: Nephrolepis exaltata
B: Nephrolepis tuberosa
C: Nephrolepis cordifolia
D: Nephrolepis pinnata
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Nephrolepis cordifolia, the Tuberous sword fern, is often confused with the Boston fern and is a serious invasive species.

17: In which country is the Boston fern classified as an invasive alien plant that must be controlled by law?
A: Australia
B: Brazil
C: South Africa
D: India
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern is classified as an invasive alien plant in South Africa.

18: What feature do the sori of the Boston fern have?
A: Long and pointed
B: Rounded
C: Square-shaped
D: Star-shaped
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The sori of the Boston fern are rounded.

19: What kind of leaflets does the Boston fern have?
A: Entire and oblong-lanceolate
B: Partially serrated and oval
C: Split and rhomboid
D: Fragmented and elliptic
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The Boston fern has entire, undestroyed, and oblong-lanceolate leaflets.

20: Which cultivar of the Boston fern is a dwarf variety?
A: ‘Green Lady’
B: ‘Marissa’
C: ‘Montana’
D: ‘Sonata’
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Marissa’ is a dwarf variety of the Boston fern.

21: What pattern is visible on the highly compound leaves of the Boston fern?
A: Parallel vein pattern
B: Pinnate vein pattern
C: Palmate vein pattern
D: Curved vein pattern
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaves of the Boston fern have a pinnate vein pattern.

22: How long can the pinnae (leaflets) of the Boston fern be?
A: 1-3 cm
B: 2-8 cm
C: 3-9 cm
D: 4-10 cm
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The pinnae of the Boston fern can be 2-8 centimeters (0.79-3.15 inches) long.

23: How wide can the entire leaves of the Boston fern grow?
A: Up to 10 mm
B: Up to 15 mm
C: Up to 20 mm
D: Up to 23 mm
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The leaflets of the Boston fern can grow up to 23 mm (0.9 inches) wide.

24: What type of fronds do the Boston fern and its cultivar ‘Teddy Junior’ have?
A: Thick and erect
B: Arching and graceful
C: Short and stubby
D: Sparse and spiked
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern and its cultivar ‘Teddy Junior’ are known for their gracefully arching fronds.

25: What type of underground structure does the Boston fern form?
A: Bulb
B: Rhizome
C: Corm
D: Tuber
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern forms an underground rhizome that is slim and tuberous.

26: What are the dimensions of the small “leaflets” on either side of the midrib of the Boston fern?
A: 1-5 cm long
B: 2-8 cm long
C: 3-6 cm long
D: 4-9 cm long
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: These small “leaflets” or pinnae can be 2-8 centimeters long.

27: What is the length of the fronds of the Boston fern?
A: 10-150 cm
B: 20-250 cm
C: 30-200 cm
D: 40-300 cm
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The fronds can be 50-250 cm long.

28: What particular condition does the Boston fern prefer for soil?
A: Dry and sandy
B: Damp and rich in nutrients
C: Rocky and acidic
D: Clay-like and alkaline
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Boston fern thrives in damp soil rich in nutrients.

29: What feature characterizes the spores of the Boston fern?
A: Smooth and round
B: Warty and wrinkled
C: Hairy and elongated
D: Tubular and striped
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The spores of the Boston fern are warty and wrinkled.

30: Which Royal Horticultural Society Award has been awarded to several cultivars of the Boston fern?
A: Plant of the Year
B: Award of Garden Merit
C: Best Indoor Plant
D: Outstanding Fern Award
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Several cultivars of the Boston fern have received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

31: What happens to the Boston fern during periods of frost?
A: It dies and doesn’t re-emerge
B: It remains the same
C: It appears dead but re-emerges in spring
D: It blooms
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern may appear totally dead during frost but re-emerges in the spring.

32: Which type of environments are common habitats for the Boston fern in the wild?
A: Deserts
B: Humid forests and swamps
C: Coastal cliffs
D: Alpine regions
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Boston ferns are commonly found in humid forests and swamps.

33: How do you describe the edges of Boston fern leaflets?
A: Smooth
B: Slightly serrate
C: Completely serrated
D: Wavy
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The edges of the Boston fern leaflets are slightly serrate.

34: What is the scientific classification order of the Boston fern?
A: Polypodiales
B: Bryophyta
C: Coniferales
D: Gnetales
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The Boston fern belongs to the order Polypodiales.

35: In which region does Nephrolepis exaltata grow epiphytically on the Sabal palmetto?
A: Asia
B: South America
C: Florida
D: Europe
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Nephrolepis exaltata can grow epiphytically on the Sabal palmetto in Florida.

36: How close are the leaflets of the Boston fern to each other?
A: Less than 0.5 cm apart
B: Less than 1 cm apart
C: Less than 1.5 cm apart
D: Less than 2 cm apart
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaflets of the Boston fern stand at a distance of less than 1 centimeter apart.

37: Which is not a common name for Nephrolepis exaltata?
A: Boston sword fern
B: Tuber ladder fern
C: Fishbone fern
D: Tree fern
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Tree fern is not a common name for Nephrolepis exaltata.

38: How does the Boston fern respond to bright filtered indoor light?
A: It wilts
B: It thrives
C: It stops growing
D: It turns yellow
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern responds best and thrives in bright filtered indoor light.

39: What should be avoided when watering a Boston fern?
A: Allow the soil to dry out completely
B: Keep the soil soggy
C: Mist the fronds
D: Use distilled water
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The soil should be damp but not soggy.

40: What is the primary way of propagating named cultivars of the Boston fern?
A: True spores
B: Division of rooted runners
C: Stem cuttings
D: Leaf grafting
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Named cultivars of Boston fern are usually propagated by division of the rooted runners.

41: Which Boston fern cultivar features finely divided leaves?
A: ‘Green Lady’
B: ‘Sonata’
C: ‘Whitmanii Improved’
D: ‘Rooseveltii’
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: ‘Whitmanii Improved’ features finely divided leaves.

42: How are the pinnate vein patterns on the Boston fern’s leaves arranged?
A: Randomly
B: Symmetrically
C: Alternately
D: Linearly
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The pinnate vein patterns are arranged alternately.

43: What causes confusion between Nephrolepis exaltata and a related invasive species?
A: Similar leaf pattern
B: Same genus
C: Identical frond shape
D: Both are houseplants
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Both belong to the Nephrolepis genus, causing confusion between them.

44: In which American city did the Boston fern mutation ‘Bostoniensis’ originate?
A: Philadelphia
B: Boston
C: New York
D: Washington D.C.
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern mutation ‘Bostoniensis’ is named after Boston.

45: What is a notable feature of the ‘Teddy Junior’ cultivar of the Boston fern?
A: Highly drought-tolerant
B: Small size and arching fronds
C: Variegated leaves
D: Red-tipped fronds
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Teddy Junior’ is noted for its small size and arching fronds.

46: What particular adaptation allows the Boston fern to thrive indoors?
A: High tolerance to direct sunlight
B: Ability to grow in low light
C: Tolerance to dry conditions
D: Resistance to pests
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The Boston fern has the ability to thrive in low light conditions.

47: Which cultivar of the Boston fern has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit?
A: ‘Montana’
B: ‘Green Lady’
C: ‘Bostoniensis’
D: ‘Sonata’
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: ‘Bostoniensis’ has received the Award of Garden Merit.

48: What specific care requirement does the Boston fern have compared to other ferns?
A: More sunlight
B: Lesser humidity
C: Frequent misting in low humidity
D: Higher temperature
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern requires frequent misting in low humidity conditions.

49: Why is Nephrolepis cordifolia considered a serious invasive plant?
A: Forms dense monocultures
B: Spreads through wind-borne seeds
C: Destroys native plants
D: Toxic to wildlife
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Nephrolepis cordifolia forms dense monocultures, crowding out native plants.

50: Which of the following environments is not suitable for Boston fern cultivation?
A: Hanging baskets indoors
B: Humid outdoor gardens
C: Dry, sunlit areas outdoors
D: Moist, shady spots
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Boston fern does not thrive in dry, sunlit areas outdoors.

51: What size do the pinnae (leaflets) of the Boston fern usually reach?
A: 1-2 cm
B: 2-8 cm
C: 3-9 cm
D: 4-12 cm
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The pinnae of the Boston fern usually reach 2-8 centimeters in length.

52: How should the soil condition for Boston fern be described?
A: Dry and nutrient-poor
B: Wet and nutrient-rich
C: Moist and nutrient-rich
D: Dry and alkaline
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The soil for Boston fern should be moist and rich in nutrients.

53: How is the invasive species Nephrolepis cordifolia often mistaken for Nephrolepis exaltata?
A: Similar growth habit and appearance
B: Same common name
C: Identical leaf shape
D: Both grow in deserts
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Nephrolepis cordifolia and Nephrolepis exaltata have similar growth habits and appearance.

54: Which of the following is a distinguishing feature of the Boston fern ‘Bostoniensis’?
A: Upright growth habit
B: Gracefully arching fronds
C: Smaller size
D: Red fronds
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Bostoniensis’ is known for its gracefully arching fronds.

55: Which habitat is less likely to support the growth of Boston fern?
A: Swamps
B: Desert areas
C: Humid forests
D: Floodplains
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Boston fern is less likely to thrive in desert areas.

56: In what part of the world is the Boston fern found naturally?
A: Europe
B: Northern South America
C: Asia
D: Antarctica
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Boston fern is naturally found in northern South America.

57: How should the indoor light be for the Boston fern to thrive?
A: Full shade
B: Medium light
C: Bright indirect light
D: Direct sunlight
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bright indirect light is ideal for Boston fern indoors.

58: What type of leaflets does a Boston fern have that is described as “entire”?
A: With smooth and continuous margins
B: Split into multiple parts
C: Covered in fuzzy hairs
D: With jagged and uneven edges
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The Boston fern’s entire leaflets have smooth and continuous margins.

59: What is the size range for the leaflets of Boston ferns?
A: 5-10 cm long
B: 2-8 cm long
C: 1-3 cm long
D: 4-9 cm long
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaflets of Boston fern range from 2-8 centimeters in length.

60: What type of frond arrangement does the Boston fern ‘Bostoniensis’ exhibit?
A: Compact and upright
B: Gracefully arching
C: Short and dense
D: Sprawling and tangled
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The ‘Bostoniensis’ cultivar of the Boston fern has gracefully arching fronds.

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