Gardenia Trivia Questions and Answers

a white flower with green leaves in the background

1: Who were the genus Gardenia named after?
A: Carl Linnaeus
B: John Ellis
C: Alexander Garden
D: George Washington Carver
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The genus Gardenia was named by Carl Linnaeus and John Ellis after Alexander Garden, a Scottish naturalist.

2: What family do gardenias belong to?
A: Rosaceae
B: Rubiaceae
C: Liliaceae
D: Fabaceae
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias belong to the family Rubiaceae.

3: Where are gardenias native to?
A: North America and Europe
B: Tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar, Pacific Islands, and Australia
C: South America and Antarctica
D: The Middle East and India
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Madagascar, Pacific Islands, and Australia.

4: How tall can gardenias grow?
A: 1-5 meters
B: 3-49 feet
C: 6-12 meters
D: 10-20 feet
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias can grow to 1-15 meters (3-49 feet) tall.

5: During which time of the year do gardenias typically flower?
A: Early spring to mid-spring
B: Mid-spring to mid-summer
C: Late summer to early fall
D: Mid-fall to early winter
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias flower from about mid-spring to mid-summer.

6: What is one characteristic scent of gardenias?
A: Fruity
B: Strong and sweet
C: Minty
D: Spicy
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Many species of gardenias have a very strong and sweet scent.

7: Which chemical compound found in gardenias is usually obtained from Crocus sativus?
A: Linalool
B: Geraniol
C: Crocetin
D: Eugenol
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Crocetin is a chemical compound that can also be obtained from the fruit of Gardenia jasminoides.

8: What are gardenias known as in Hawaii?
A: Naʻu or Nānu
B: Aloha or Laka
C: Mahalo or Pua
D: Lehua or Maile
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: In Hawaii, gardenias are known as naʻu or nānū.

9: What special property do the fruits of Gardenia jasminoides have in Eastern Asia?
A: Used as a spice
B: Used as a yellow dye
C: Used for making tea
D: Used in perfumes
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The fruit of Gardenia jasminoides is used as a yellow dye in Eastern Asia.

10: Which famous poet heard from Sigmund Freud that gardenias were his favorite flower?
A: Robert Frost
B: H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)
C: T.S. Eliot
D: Sylvia Plath
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Sigmund Freud remarked to the poet H.D. that gardenias were his favorite flower.

11: For what special event did Hattie McDaniel famously wear gardenias in her hair?
A: Her wedding day
B: Winning an Academy Award for Gone with the Wind
C: A royal ball
D: Inauguration day
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hattie McDaniel wore gardenias in her hair when she accepted an Academy Award for Gone with the Wind.

12: What is the scientific name for the commonly cultivated gardenia used as a houseplant?
A: Gardenia thunbergia
B: Gardenia jasminoides
C: Gardenia volkensii
D: Gardenia taitensis
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides, also known as G. grandiflora or G. florida, is commonly cultivated as a houseplant.

13: What temperatures do indoor Gardenia jasminoides plants thrive in during the day?
A: 15-18 °C (59-64 °F)
B: 20-23 °C (68-73 °F)
C: 25-28 °C (77-82 °F)
D: 30-33 °C (86-91 °F)
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides thrives in temperatures of 20-23 °C (68-73 °F) during the day.

14: What happens to gardenia flowers if water touches them?
A: They bloom faster
B: They turn brown
C: They close up
D: They produce more scent
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: If water touches gardenia flowers, they will turn brown.

15: What traditional use of Gardenia jasminoides fruits can be found in traditional Chinese medicine?
A: For promoting digestion
B: For their clearing, calming, and cooling properties
C: For enhancing memory
D: For increasing energy
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The fruits of Gardenia jasminoides are used in traditional Chinese medicine for their clearing, calming, and cooling properties.

16: Which drink did Donn Beach, aka Don the Beachcomber, famously name after a gardenia?
A: Mai Tai
B: Zombie
C: Mystery Gardenia Cocktail
D: Pina Colada
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Donn Beach named one of his drinks the Mystery Gardenia Cocktail.

17: What method is commonly used in France for men to wear gardenias?
A: In their hat
B: In their buttonhole (as boutonnière)
C: As a wrist corsage
D: In their pocket
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: In France, gardenias are traditionally worn by men as boutonnière in their buttonhole when in evening dress.

18: How many species of gardenia are recognized by Plants of the World Online as of July 2022?
A: 100
B: 114
C: 128
D: 150
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: As of July 2022, Plants of the World Online recognizes 128 species in the genus Gardenia.

19: What is a common visual characteristic of gardenia leaves?
A: They are light green and matte
B: They are dark green and glossy with a leathery texture
C: They are yellow with a silky texture
D: They are purple and velvety
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia leaves are dark green and glossy with a leathery texture.

20: What type of flowers do gardenias have?
A: Small and red
B: Large and blue
C: Solitary or in small clusters, white or pale yellow
D: Tiny and pink
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia flowers are solitary or in small clusters and range from white to pale yellow.

21: Which compound is a novel methoxylated flavonol secreted by Gardenia gordonii?
A: Quercetin
B: Gossypetin
C: Gordonin
D: Kaempferol
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gordonin is a novel methoxylated flavonol secreted in golden-colored resinous droplets by Gardenia gordonii.

22: What is the role of the resins secreted by gardenias?
A: To protect against extreme weather
B: To attract or repel invertebrate herbivores
C: To increase the plant’s height
D: To help in photosynthesis
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The evolutionary significance of the gums and resins of gardenias in attracting or repelling invertebrate herbivores has yet to be explored by ecologists.

23: Which gardenia species is critically endangered and found in the Fiji Islands?
A: Gardenia archboldiana
B: Gardenia gordonii
C: Gardenia jabiluka
D: Gardenia volkensii
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia gordonii is one of several critically endangered species from the Fiji Islands.

24: Which common tiki drink made by Trader Vic uses gardenia as a garnish?
A: Scorpion
B: Blue Hawaiian
C: Pina Colada
D: Mai Tai
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Trader Vic used gardenias as flower garnishes in his tiki drinks such as the Scorpion.

25: Sigmund Freud’s favorite flower was?
A: Roses
B: Lilies
C: Gardenias
D: Tulips
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Sigmund Freud’s favorite flower was the gardenia.

26: How large can gardenia flowers be in diameter?
A: 1-3 cm
B: 3-5 cm
C: 5-12 cm
D: 12-15 cm
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia flowers can be 5-12 cm (2-5 in) in diameter.

27: What is the common size limitation of Gardenia jasminoides when grown indoors?
A: 6-8 inches in height and width
B: 12-15 inches in height and width
C: 18 inches in height and width
D: 24 inches in height and width
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides grows no larger than 18 inches in height and width when grown indoors.

28: What is a notable feature of gardenia plant growth outdoors in suitable climates?
A: They grow horizontally
B: They grow only a few inches tall
C: They can attain heights of up to 6 feet
D: They develop edible fruits
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In suitable climates, gardenia plants can attain heights of up to 6 feet when grown outdoors.

29: Which gardenia species is cultivated primarily for its large flower size and strong scent?
A: Gardenia thunbergia
B: Gardenia volkensii
C: Gardenia jasminoides
D: Gardenia taitensis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides is cultivated for its large flower size and strong scent.

30: In which award-winning film did Hattie McDaniel wear gardenias in her hair?
A: Casablanca
B: Gone with the Wind
C: The Wizard of Oz
D: Citizen Kane
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hattie McDaniel wore gardenias in her hair when she accepted her Academy Award for her role in the film Gone with the Wind.

31: Which gardenia variety is known to be difficult to grow inside a home due to its climate requirements?
A: Gardenia thunbergia
B: Gardenia volkensii
C: Gardenia jasminoides
D: Gardenia taitensis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides is known to be difficult to grow indoors because it requires high humidity and specific temperature ranges which replicate its native tropical environment.

32: At what temperature should Gardenia jasminoides be kept during the night for optimal growth?
A: 10-12 °C (50-54 °F)
B: 15-16 °C (59-61 °F)
C: 18-20 °C (64-68 °F)
D: 22-24 °C (72-75 °F)
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: For optimal growth, Gardenia jasminoides should be kept at 15-16 °C (59-61 °F) during the night.

33: What are gardenia leaves described as in terms of texture?
A: Silky
B: Matte
C: Leathery
D: Fuzzy
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia leaves have a leathery texture.

34: What is a popular method of gardenia cultivation to handle indoor-specific requirements?
A: Hydroponic systems
B: Special potting soils
C: Sandy loam
D: Peat moss mix
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Special potting soils developed for gardenias are available to meet their specific indoor cultivation requirements.

35: Which cultural icon frequently wore gardenias in his hair almost every day at his tiki bars?
A: Elvis Presley
B: Donn Beach (Don the Beachcomber)
C: Frank Sinatra
D: Bob Marley
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Donn Beach, aka Don the Beachcomber, frequently wore gardenias in his hair at his tiki bars.

36: What part of gardenias is used in Korean cuisine, such as in the mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk?
A: Leaves
B: Seeds
C: Flowers
D: Fruits
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The fruit of Gardenia jasminoides is used in Korean cuisine, including in the mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk.

37: Which term describes the arrangement of gardenia leaves?
A: Alternating
B: Rosette
C: Opposite or in whorls of three or four
D: Spiral
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia leaves are arranged opposite each other or in whorls of three or four.

38: How are gardenia flowers commonly used in cultures with tiki bars?
A: As food garnishes
B: As lei flowers
C: In scented towels
D: In cocktails
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Gardenia flowers are used as garnishes in tiki cocktails.

39: What color are gardenia resin droplets often seen as on their buds?
A: Green
B: Blue
C: Yellow to brown
D: Red
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia resin droplets appear as yellow to brown on the vegetative and floral buds.

40: How are gardenia flowers commonly described in terms of color?
A: Red and pink
B: White and pale yellow
C: Light blue and lavender
D: Purple and green
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia flowers are typically white or pale yellow.

41: Which period did Edith Wharton suggest New York City upper-class men customarily wore gardenias?
A: Gilded Age
B: Victorian Era
C: Elizabethan Era
D: Roaring Twenties
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Edith Wharton suggested it was customary for upper-class men from New York City to wear a gardenia in their buttonhole during the Gilded Age.

42: What gardening issue can cause gardenias to turn brown?
A: Excessive sunlight
B: Water touching the flowers
C: Lack of fertilizer
D: Trimmed leaves
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia flowers turn brown when water touches them.

43: Which gardenia species is used to study population-level variations in Fiji?
A: Gardenia thunbergia
B: Gardenia candida
C: Gardenia volkensii
D: Gardenia jasminoides
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: A population-level study was conducted on the rare species Gardenia candida in Fiji.

44: What is the primary reason that gardenias are valued in gardening and perfumery?
A: Their bright colors
B: Their strong sweet scent
C: Their medicinal properties
D: Their rapid growth
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers.

45: Which plant’s pollen grains are illustrated in the Gallery section of the article?
A: Gardenia gummifera
B: Gardenia jasminoides
C: Gardenia thaumasia
D: Gardenia volkensii
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The pollen grains of Gardenia gummifera are illustrated in the Gallery section.

46: Describe the growth form of gardenias.
A: Perennial herbs
B: Evergreen shrubs or small trees
C: Annual flowering plants
D: Climbing vines
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenias are evergreen shrubs or small trees.

47: What type of study was conducted on two rare gardenia species in Fiji?
A: Population-level phytochemical study
B: Botanical illustration study
C: Genetic modification study
D: Climate adaptation study
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: A population-level phytochemical study was conducted on two rare gardenia species in Fiji.

48: How are gardenia flowers arranged on the plant?
A: In large clusters
B: Solitary or in small clusters
C: In rows
D: In whorls
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia flowers are arranged solitary or in small clusters.

49: What do ecologists still need to explore about gardenia resins?
A: Their medicinal uses
B: Their role in photosynthesis
C: Their impact on plant growth
D: Their evolutionary significance in attracting or repelling invertebrate herbivores
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Ecologists have yet to explore the evolutionary significance of gardenia resins in attracting or repelling invertebrate herbivores.

50: Which Mexican award-winning actress wore gardenias in her hair as a tribute during her Oscar acceptance?
A: Mo’Nique Hicks
B: Salma Hayek
C: Lupita Nyong’o
D: Penelope Cruz
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Mo’Nique Hicks wore gardenias in her hair when she won her Oscar, as a tribute to Hattie McDaniel.

51: What is one of the notable uses of crocetin from Gardenia jasminoides?
A: As a sweetener
B: As a yellow dye
C: As a pharmaceutical drug
D: In cosmetic products
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Crocetin from Gardenia jasminoides’ fruit is used as a yellow dye.

52: What is the botanical term used to describe the base of a gardenia flower?
A: Ovary
B: Petal
C: Corolla
D: Sepal
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The base of a gardenia flower is described as a corolla.

53: Gardenia thunbergia is illustrated by which artist in the Gallery section?
A: Vincent Van Gogh
B: Claude Monet
C: Edith Struben
D: Georgia O’Keeffe
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenia thunbergia is illustrated by Edith Struben in the Gallery section.

54: What do the lobes of gardenia flowers range between?
A: 2-4
B: 3-5
C: 5-12
D: 7-10
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The lobes (petals) on gardenia flowers can range from 5 to 12.

55: Which feature makes Gardenia jasminoides challenging to grow indoors?
A: Requires bright direct sunlight
B: Needs high humidity and specific temperature
C: Prefers sandy soil
D: Sensitive to high altitude
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia jasminoides require high humidity and specific temperature conditions, making them challenging to grow indoors.

56: What distinguishes the secretion on vegetative and floral buds of gardenias?
A: Watery sap
B: Yellow to brown resin droplets
C: White milky sap
D: Fragrant oil
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Methoxylated and oxygenated flavonols, flavones, and triterpenes accumulate as yellow to brown resin droplets on the vegetative and floral buds of gardenias.

57: Which gardenia is worn traditionally for events requiring evening dress in France?
A: Gardenia volkensii
B: Gardenia thunbergia
C: Gardenia jasminoides
D: Gardenia taitensis
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In France, Gardenia jasminoides is traditionally worn as a boutonnière for evening dress

58: What is one of the primary reasons gardenias are added to tiki drinks?
A: Their nutritional value
B: Their strong scent
C: Their aesthetic appeal as a garnish
D: Their ability to cool beverages
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Gardenias are used in tiki drinks primarily for their aesthetic appeal as a garnish.

59: Which gardenia is recognized for producing golden-colored resinous droplets?
A: Gardenia jasminoides
B: Gardenia gordonii
C: Gardenia thunbergia
D: Gardenia volkensii
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardenia gordonii is noted for producing golden-colored resinous droplets.

60: How many lobes do gardenia flower corollas typically have?
A: 2-4
B: 4-6
C: 5-12
D: 10-15
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The corollas of gardenia flowers typically have 5-12 lobes.

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