Bromeliad Trivia Questions and Answers

1: What is the largest bromeliad known as?
A: Tillandsia usneoides
B: Puya raimondii
C: Bromelia
D: Aechmea
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Puya raimondii can grow up to 4 meters tall and its flower spike can reach up to 10 meters.

2: Which bromeliad is commonly known as Spanish moss?
A: Tillandsia usneoides
B: Bromelia
C: Ananas comosus
D: Puya raimondii
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Spanish moss is actually Tillandsia usneoides, an epiphytic bromeliad.

3: Where are bromeliads mainly native to?
A: Asia
B: Europe
C: Tropical Americas
D: Antarctica
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliads are native mainly to the tropical Americas.

4: Which bromeliad species is found in tropical west Africa?
A: Pitcairnia feliciana
B: Tillandsia usneoides
C: Ananas comosus
D: Puya raimondii
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Pitcairnia feliciana is the only bromeliad species found in tropical west Africa.

5: What unique structures do many bromeliads use to store water?
A: Flowers
B: Roots
C: Trichomes
D: Tightly overlapping leaf bases
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Many bromeliads store water in structures formed by their tightly overlapping leaf bases.

6: What kind of photosynthesis do many bromeliads utilize to conserve water?
A: C4 Photosynthesis
B: C3 Photosynthesis
C: CAM Photosynthesis
D: Photosystem I
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Many bromeliads utilize CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) Photosynthesis to reduce water loss.

7: Which bromeliad is also a common fruit sold worldwide?
A: Pitcairnia feliciana
B: Ananas comosus
C: Tillandsia usneoides
D: Puya raimondii
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ananas comosus is the scientific name for pineapple.

8: What do bromeliads commonly form with their tightly overlapping leaf bases?
A: Flowers
B: Roots
C: Insect traps
D: Water tanks
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Bromeliads form water tanks with their tightly overlapping leaf bases.

9: Which bromeliad group includes both epiphytes and terrestrial species?
A: Bromelioideae
B: Brocchinioideae
C: Lindmanioideae
D: Navioideae
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Bromelioideae, a subfamily of Bromeliaceae, includes both epiphytic and terrestrial species.

10: What helps bromeliads absorb water directly from the air?
A: Flower petals
B: Trichomes
C: Silica
D: Root hairs
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Trichomes, which are specialized hairs or scales, help bromeliads absorb water directly from the air.

11: What is the smallest bromeliad known?
A: Puya raimondii
B: Ananas comosus
C: Tillandsia usneoides
D: Bromelia
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The smallest bromeliad known is Tillandsia usneoides, also known as Spanish moss.

12: Which order are bromeliads classified under?
A: Poales
B: Rosales
C: Fabales
D: Asterales
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Bromeliads are classified under the Poales order.

13: What feature characterizes the Bromopioideae subfamily?
A: Succulent leaves
B: Flowering in clusters
C: Inferior ovaries
D: Underground tubers
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Bromopioideae subfamily is characterized by having inferior ovaries.

14: What type of environments can bromeliads live in due to their adaptations?
A: Only tropical forests
B: Only deserts
C: Various environments from rainforests to deserts
D: Only wetlands
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Due to their various adaptations, bromeliads can live in a wide range of environments, from rainforests to deserts.

15: What role do bromeliads often play in ecosystems?
A: Primary producers
B: Phytotelmata, accumulating water
C: Soil stabilizers
D: Parasites
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Bromeliads often form phytotelmata, which are water accumulations that provide habitat for various organisms.

16: How old are bromeliads believed to be in terms of their evolutionary origin?
A: 200 million years
B: 50 million years
C: 100 million years
D: 10 million years
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliads are believed to have originated around 100 million years ago.

17: What is the purpose of bromelain extracted from pineapples?
A: Sweetening agent
B: Preservative
C: Meat tenderizer
D: Insect repellent
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromelain, extracted from pineapple stems, is commonly used as a meat tenderizer.

18: What type of bromeliad is Hohenbergia?
A: Terrestrial
B: Epiphytic
C: Aquatic
D: Climbing
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hohenbergia is an example of an epiphytic bromeliad.

19: Which bromeliad subfamily is the most basal and found mainly in the Guiana Shield?
A: Brocchinioideae
B: Bromelioideae
C: Tillandsioideae
D: Hechtioideae
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Brocchinioideae is the most basal bromeliad subfamily, primarily found in the Guiana Shield.

20: How long did it take for the family Bromeliaceae to diversify into its current subfamilies?
A: 50 million years
B: 19 million years
C: 100 million years
D: 10 million years
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: It took around 19 million years for the Bromeliaceae family to diversify into its current subfamilies.

21: What type of sepals does the subfamily Lindmanioideae have?
A: Linear
B: Convolute
C: Rounded
D: Triangular
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The subfamily Lindmanioideae is characterized by convolute sepals.

22: The only bromeliad species found in Africa is believed to have dispersed from where?
A: Brazil
B: Europe
C: Central America
D: The Americas
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Pitcairnia feliciana, the only bromeliad species in Africa, is believed to have dispersed from the Americas.

23: Bromeliads often host which aquatic insect larvae among their leaves?
A: Dragonflies
B: Mosquitoes
C: Beetles
D: Butterflies
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Bromeliads often host mosquito larvae among the water accumulated in their leaves.

24: What is a characteristic of the Hechtioideae subfamily’s adaptation?
A: Water storage leaves
B: High sugar flowers
C: Adaptations to arid environments
D: Large berries
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Hechtioideae subfamily has adaptations suitable for arid environments.

25: Which process is attributed to convergent evolution in some bromeliad groups?
A: Formation of flowers
B: Seed dispersal
C: Silica in leaves
D: Morphological adaptations to arid conditions
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Some morphological adaptations to arid conditions in bromeliads, such as those found in Hechtioideae, are due to convergent evolution.

26: Which bromeliad is commonly consumed as a fruit by indigenous coastal tribes in Venezuela?
A: Spanish moss
B: Bromelia chrysantha
C: Vriesea splendens
D: Puya raimondii
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Indigenous coastal tribes in Venezuela consume the berry of Bromelia chrysantha.

27: Where are the most basal species of bromeliads predominantly found?
A: European gardens
B: African savannas
C: Andean highlands
D: North American prairies
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The most basal species of bromeliads are predominantly found in the Andean highlands of South America.

28: When did the first groups of bromeliads spread out from the Guiana Shield?
A: 50 million years ago
B: 30 million years ago
C: 15.4 million years ago
D: 100 million years ago
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The first groups of bromeliads began spreading from the Guiana Shield around 15.4 million years ago.

29: Which climate caused the speciation of many epiphytic bromeliads in Serra do Mar, Brazil?
A: Dry
B: Hot
C: Humid
D: Cold
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The cooler, wetter climate in Serra do Mar caused many epiphytic bromeliads to speciate.

30: Which bromeliad is famous for its bright bracts and is often cultivated?
A: Puya raimondii
B: Aechmea fasciata
C: Tillandsia usneoides
D: Bromelia chrysantha
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Aechmea fasciata is well-known for its bright bracts and is often cultivated as an ornamental plant.

31: How many liters of water can bromeliads sequester in one hectare of forest?
A: 10,000 liters
B: 100,000 liters
C: 50,000 liters
D: 5,000 liters
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliads can sequester up to 50,000 liters of water per hectare in some forests.

32: Which subfamily includes bromeliads with highly xeromorphic characters?
A: Tillandsioideae
B: Lindmanioideae
C: Bromelioideae
D: Hechtioideae
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Bromelioideae subfamily includes bromeliads with highly xeromorphic characters, adapted to arid environments.

33: Which bromeliad serves as a host plant for some specific invertebrates, such as ostracods?
A: Ananas comosus
B: Billbergia pyramidalis
C: Tillandsia usneoides
D: Bromelia chrysantha
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Billbergia pyramidalis often serves as a host plant for certain invertebrates, including ostracods.

34: Which European event increased the popularity of bromeliads?
A: The Renaissance
B: Industrial Revolution
C: Post-World War II era
D: The Napoleonic Wars
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: After World War II, bromeliads gained increased popularity again.

35: Which bromeliad indigenous to the Brazilian shield has adapted to arid climates?
A: Aechmea fasciata
B: Tillandsia usneoides
C: Hechtia
D: Puya
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The genus Puya in the bromeliad family has adapted to arid climates.

36: Which subfamily within Bromeliaceae has members typically pollinated by hummingbirds?
A: Brocchinioideae
B: Navioideae
C: Tillandsioideae
D: Hechtioideae
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Members of the subfamily Tillandsioideae are typically pollinated by hummingbirds.

37: How many distinct species were identified from animals living in bromeliads in a study from the Yasuní Scientific Reserve?
A: 50
B: 100
C: 200
D: 350
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The study identified more than 350 distinct species of animals living in bromeliads.

38: Which bromeliad collector made significant discoveries in the Cordilleras of South America?
A: Mulford B. Foster
B: Werner Rauh
C: Lyman Smith
D: Édouard André
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Édouard André made many significant discoveries of bromeliads in the Cordilleras of South America.

39: How many generations of European breeders developed impressive hybrid bromeliads before World War I?
A: Two
B: Three
C: Four
D: Five
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Three generations of European breeders developed impressive hybrid bromeliads before World War I.

40: How many genera are currently accepted in the Bromeliaceae family?
A: 40
B: 50
C: 60
D: 72
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: As of December 2022, there are 72 accepted genera in the Bromeliaceae family.

41: The genus Tillandsia has an adaptation to which environmental condition?
A: Moderate humidity
B: High temperature
C: Direct sunlight
D: Low water availability
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The genus Tillandsia has adaptations for low water availability, such as absorbing moisture from the air.

42: Which subfamily is characterized by scales or hairs to capture water?
A: Hechtioideae
B: Brocchinioideae
C: Tillandsioideae
D: Puyoideae
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The subfamily Tillandsioideae captures water using scales or hairs.

43: Which type of environment do many bromeliads with leaf vases thrive in?
A: Desert
B: Wetlands
C: Humid forests
D: Alpine regions
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliads with leaf vases thrive in humid forest environments where they can trap water in their leaf bases.

44: What adaptation helps bromeliads in desert environments reflect sunlight?
A: Water storage in stems
B: Succulent leaves
C: Silica in the epidermis
D: Leaf trichomes
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Leaf trichomes help bromeliads reflect sunlight in desert environments.

45: The pineapple, an example of a bromeliad, utilizes which type of photosynthesis to minimize water loss?
A: C4 Photosynthesis
B: C3 Photosynthesis
C: CAM Photosynthesis
D: Photosystem II
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Pineapples use CAM photosynthesis to minimize water loss in dry conditions.

46: How many acres of bromeliads can sequester a significant amount of water, creating aquatic habitats?
A: 1 acre
B: 2 acres
C: 4 acres
D: 10 acres
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: A hectare (approximately 2.5 acres) of bromeliads can sequester a significant amount of water, creating aquatic habitats.

47: What is a common characteristic of bromeliads in the Andean highlands?
A: Lack of flowers
B: Low water storage capability
C: High incidence of trichomes
D: Low sunlight requirement
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliads in the Andean highlands commonly have a high incidence of trichomes to capture moisture.

48: What did early European gardeners find intriguing about the first bromeliads introduced to Europe?
A: Their large size
B: Their exotic appearance
C: Their easy cultivation
D: Their dislike for sunlight
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Early European gardeners were fascinated by the exotic appearance of bromeliads.

49: How many animals were identified in a single study of 209 bromeliads?
A: 5,000
B: 8,000
C: 11,000
D: 15,000
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: A study of 209 bromeliads identified 11,219 animals.

50: What factor increases the number of bromeliads growing on a tree?
A: Thinner branches
B: Higher incidence of sunlight
C: Frequent watering
D: Cooler climate
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Trees or branches with higher incidence of sunlight tend to have more bromeliads growing on them.

51: What type of fruits do many bromeliads produce?
A: Capsules or berries
B: Large nuts
C: Pinecones
D: Drupes
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Many bromeliads produce fruits that commonly take the form of capsules or berries.

52: How many subfamilies does molecular evidence suggest the Pitcairnioideae should be split into?
A: Three
B: Four
C: Five
D: Six
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Molecular evidence suggests that the traditionally defined Pitcairnioideae should be split into six subfamilies.

53: What type of environment is the Guiana Shield where the most basal bromeliads are found?
A: Coastal
B: Alpine
C: Tropical forest
D: Desert
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Guiana Shield is known for its tropical forest environment, where the most basal bromeliads are found.

54: What is the genus Tillandsia importance for humans aside from being ornamental?
A: They are used in traditional medicine
B: Their leaves are edible
C: Their trichomes are used in weaving
D: They contain high sugar content eaten by Pima of Mexico
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Some species of Tillandsia are consumed by the Pima of Mexico due to their high sugar content.

55: What kind of DNA has been used to classify subfamilies within Bromeliaceae?
A: Mitochondrial DNA
B: Nucleus DNA
C: Chloroplast DNA
D: Ribosomal DNA
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Chloroplast DNA has been used for classifying subfamilies within Bromeliaceae.

56: What feature distinguishes Navioideae from Pitcairnioideae?
A: Capsule fruits
B: Cochlear sepals
C: Wing-like seeds
D: Plumose seeds
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Navioideae is distinguished from Pitcairnioideae by its cochlear sepals.

57: What is a unique feature about bromeliads in Serra do Mar, Brazil?
A: They grow underground
B: They have xeromorphic leaves
C: They are mostly epiphytic
D: They are wind-pollinated
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The bromeliads in Serra do Mar, Brazil, are mostly epiphytic.

58: Which bromeliad genus includes the pineapple?
A: Aechmea
B: Billbergia
C: Ananas
D: Bromelia
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Ananas is the genus that includes the pineapple.

59: What is typical about the environments where bromeliad host plants thrive?
A: High altitude only
B: Near sea level only
C: Varying altitudes and climates
D: Moderate temperature only
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Bromeliad host plants can be found in a variety of environments, ranging from sea level to high altitudes and across different climates.

60: What did early European bromeliad hybridizers aim to achieve?
A: Create disease-resistant varieties
B: Increase the fruit yield of pineapples
C: Develop exotic and ornamental varieties for trade
D: Produce bromeliads suited for medicinal purposes
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Early European hybridizers in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands focused on developing ornamental varieties of bromeliads for trade due to their exotic appearance.

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