Larkspur Trivia Questions and Answers

1: What is the scientific name for the plant commonly known as Larkspur?
A: Ranunculus
B: Aconitum
C: Delphinium
D: Consolida
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Larkspur belongs to the genus Delphinium.

2: Which famous botanist erected the genus that includes Larkspur?
A: Gregor Mendel
B: Carl Linnaeus
C: Charles Darwin
D: George Washington Carver
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Carl Linnaeus established the genus Delphinium.

3: Larkspurs are native to which regions?
A: Southern Hemisphere
B: Northern Hemisphere
C: Equatorial regions
D: Arctic regions
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: They are native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and high mountains of tropical Africa.

4: Which family does Larkspur belong to?
A: Lamiaceae
B: Fabaceae
C: Ranunculaceae
D: Asteraceae
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Larkspur is part of the family Ranunculaceae.

5: What is common to all members of the genus Larkspur?
A: They are all edible.
B: They are all sweet-smelling.
C: They are all toxic to humans and livestock.
D: They are all shade plants.
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: All members of the genus Delphinium are toxic to humans and livestock.

6: The common name “Larkspur” is shared between perennial Delphinium species and annual species of which genus?
A: Consolida
B: Ranunculus
C: Aconitum
D: Clematis
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The common name Larkspur is shared between perennial Delphinium species and annual species of the genus Consolida.

7: Larkspur’s genus name, Delphinium, derives from a word in which language?
A: Latin
B: German
C: French
D: Ancient Greek
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The genus name Delphinium derives from the Ancient Greek word δελφίνιον (delphínion).

8: Why did Pedanius Dioscorides name the plant “Delphinium”?
A: Because it grew near the sea
B: Because the flowers resembled dolphins
C: Because its leaves are fin-shaped
D: Because of its medicinal uses
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Pedanius Dioscorides said the plant got its name because of its dolphin-shaped flowers.

9: In what habitats do short-stemmed Larkspur species like Delphinium nuttallianum appear?
A: Deserts
B: Prairies and sagebrush steppe
C: Tropical rainforests
D: Alpine tundra
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Species with short stems and few flowers like Delphinium nuttallianum appear in habitats like prairies and the sagebrush steppe.

10: How many petals do flowers of most Larkspur species have?
A: Two
B: Three
C: Four
D: Five
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Flowers of most species have four petals.

11: What shape are Larkspur leaves typically?
A: Linear
B: Palmate
C: Elliptical
D: Triangular
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaves are deeply lobed with three to seven toothed, pointed lobes in a palmate shape.

12: How tall can the main flowering stem of larger Larkspur species grow?
A: 10 cm
B: 50 cm
C: 1 m
D: 2 m
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The main flowering stem can vary greatly in size, up to 2 m tall in the larger meadowland species.

13: In which months do Larkspur plants typically flower in the Northern Hemisphere?
A: February and March
B: April and May
C: June and July
D: September and October
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In June and July (Northern Hemisphere), the plant is topped with a raceme of many flowers.

14: What colors do Larkspur flowers typically come in?
A: Purple and blue
B: Red and yellow
C: White
D: All the above
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Larkspur flowers vary in color from purple and blue to red, yellow, or white.

15: What type of symmetry do Larkspur flowers display?
A: Radial symmetry
B: Bilateral symmetry
C: Asymmetry
D: None of the above
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical.

16: What is commonly enclosed by the uppermost sepal of a Larkspur flower?
A: Stigma
B: Stamens
C: Nectar-secreting spurs
D: Petals
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The uppermost sepal is spurred and encloses the nectar-secreting spurs of the two upper petals.

17: What color are Larkspur seeds typically?
A: Green
B: White
C: Brown
D: Shiny black
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The seeds are small and often shiny black.

18: What type of organisms pollinate Larkspur flowers?
A: Birds
B: Butterflies and bumble bees
C: Wind
D: Bats
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The plants are pollinated by butterflies and bumble bees.

19: Despite their toxicity, what can some Larkspur species serve as food for?
A: Humans
B: Deer
C: Insect larvae
D: Birds
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Despite the toxicity, Larkspur species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species.

20: What modification has been made to make the genus Delphinium monophyletic?
A: No changes were needed
B: Creation of a new genus, Staphisagria
C: Merging Consolida with Aconitum
D: Change of common names
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The new genus Staphisagria was erected to make Delphinium monophyletic.

21: What type of climate do Millennium Larkspur hybrids perform better in compared to Pacific hybrids?
A: Colder climates
B: Warmer climates
C: Humid climates
D: Desert climates
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Millennium Larkspur hybrids are reportedly better in warmer climates than the Pacific hybrids.

22: What award has been given to some Larkspur cultivars by the British Royal Horticultural Society?
A: Award of Garden Merit
B: Plant of the Year
C: Best in Show
D: Gardeners’ Choice Award
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The Award of Garden Merit has been given to some Larkspur cultivars by the British Royal Horticultural Society.

23: Which award-winning Larkspur cultivar has blue flowers and a white eye color?
A: Blue Dawn
B: Blue Nile
C: Clifford Sky
D: Fenella
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Blue Nile’ is an award-winning cultivar with blue flowers and a white eye.

24: What is the primary use of Larkspur hybrids and cultivars in gardens?
A: Ground cover
B: Hedge
C: Providing height at the back of summer borders
D: Shade plants
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: They are primarily used for providing height at the back of the summer border.

25: Which disease can Larkspur plants cause in humans if ingested?
A: Severe digestive discomfort
B: Respiratory issues
C: Skin rash
D: Headache
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: All parts of these plants are considered toxic to humans, causing severe digestive discomfort if ingested.

26: For which animal is Larkspur a significant cause of poisoning on rangelands in the western United States?
A: Deer
B: Cattle
C: Horses
D: Sheep
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Larkspur, especially tall larkspur, is a significant cause of cattle poisoning on rangelands in the western United States.

27: What effect does Larkspur ingestion have that leads to death in livestock?
A: Liver failure
B: Cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects
C: Respiratory failure
D: Kidney failure
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Death results from cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects.

28: What percentage of alkaloids can Larkspur seeds contain?
A: Up to 0.5%
B: Up to 1.0%
C: Up to 1.4%
D: Up to 2.0%
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The seeds contain up to 1.4% of alkaloids.

29: In what historical period did hybridization of Larkspur begin in France?
A: 17th century
B: 18th century
C: 19th century
D: 20th century
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Hybridization was developed in the 19th century, led by Victor Lemoine in France.

30: What feature makes ‘Pacific Giant’ Larkspur hybrids distinct?
A: They are ground cover plants.
B: They produce small flowers.
C: They have individual single-color cultivar names and can grow up to 1.8 meters tall.
D: They are shade-tolerant.
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The ‘Pacific Giant’ hybrids typically grow to 1.2–1.8 meters tall on long stems and have individual single-color cultivar names.

31: Which type of Larkspur coloration was hybridized from D. cardinale by American breeders?
A: Shades of purple
B: Shades of blue
C: Shades of red, orange, and pink
D: Shades of yellow
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Flower colors in shades of red, orange, and pink have been hybridized from D. cardinale by Americans Reinelt and Samuelson.

32: Which Larkspur cultivar has received the Award of Garden Merit and has a mid-blue flower color with a white eye color?
A: Atholl
B: Conspicuous
C: Blue Nile
D: Tiddles
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: ‘Blue Nile’ has mid-blue flowers with a white eye and has received the Award of Garden Merit.

33: Which Larkspur cultivar is known for its pale mauve color and brown eye color?
A: Clifford Sky
B: Elizabeth Cook
C: Cherub
D: Fenella
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: ‘Cherub’ is known for its pale mauve color and brown eye color.

34: What is a key characteristic of the ‘Foxhill Nina’ Larkspur cultivar?
A: Deep blue flowers
B: Pale pink flowers with white eye color
C: Violet flowers
D: Yellow flowers
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Foxhill Nina’ has pale pink flowers with white eye color.

35: Which species of Larkspur is typically found in forests?
A: Delphinium nuttallianum
B: Delphinium bicolor
C: Delphinium occidentale
D: Delphinium californicum
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Tall and robust species like Delphinium occidentale appear more often in forests.

36: What habitat do Delphinium species like Delphinium bicolor prefer?
A: Prairies and sagebrush steppe
B: Deserts
C: Forests
D: Swamps
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Delphinium bicolor prefers habitats like prairies and the sagebrush steppe.

37: Which color does not typically appear naturally in Larkspur flowers?
A: Purple
B: Blue
C: Green
D: White
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Larkspur flowers typically vary in color from purple and blue to red, yellow, or white, but not green.

38: Which Larkspur variety is an example of a short-stemmed species?
A: Delphinium occidentale
B: Delphinium nuttallianum
C: Delphinium cardinale
D: Delphinium elatum
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Delphinium nuttallianum is a short-stemmed species.

39: What form does the main flowering stem of Larkspur take?
A: Sprawling
B: Erect
C: Twining
D: Climbing
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The main flowering stem is erect and varies greatly in size between species.

40: Larkspur flowers can be described as having what type of floral symmetry?
A: Bilateral symmetry
B: Radial symmetry
C: Asymmetry
D: None of the above
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Larkspur flowers are bilaterally symmetrical.

41: What type of insects use Larkspur as a food source, despite its toxicity?
A: Bees
B: Moth larvae
C: Beetles
D: Flies
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Larkspur species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the dot moth and small angle shades.

42: What feature of Larkspur flowers helps them get their name linked to dolphins?
A: Their scent
B: Their spur shape
C: Their color
D: Their height
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The flowers have a spur shape which resembles dolphins, giving the plant its name.

43: Which part of the Larkspur flower secretes nectar?
A: Sepals
B: Pistil
C: Upper petals
D: Lower petals
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The nectar-secreting spurs are part of the two upper petals.

44: What was the primary use of Larkspur juice mixed with alum in historical times?
A: To dye clothes
B: As a medicine
C: To create blue ink
D: As a pesticide
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The juice of the flowers, particularly D. consolida, mixed with alum, gives a blue ink.

45: What season is typically unsafe for moving cattle to rangelands with Larkspurs due to higher toxicity?
A: Late fall
B: Early summer
C: Midwinter
D: Late summer
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Many ranchers delay moving cattle onto rangelands with Larkspurs until late summer when the toxicity of the plants is reduced.

46: Who developed the ‘Pacific Giant’ hybrids in the United States?
A: Victor Lemoine
B: Samuelson
C: Reinelt
D: Dowdeswell
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The ‘Pacific Giant’ hybrids were developed by Reinelt in the United States.

47: In what climate are Millennium Larkspur hybrids reportedly better than Pacific hybrids?
A: Cooler climates
B: Humid climates
C: Warmer climates
D: Arid climates
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Millennium Larkspur hybrids are reportedly better in warmer climates.

48: Which Larkspur species is considered robust and typically found in forests?
A: Delphinium nuttallianum
B: Delphinium bicolor
C: Delphinium occidentale
D: Delphinium californicum
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Tall and robust species like Delphinium occidentale are found in forests.

49: What is the color of the flowers on the ‘Faust’ cultivar of Larkspur?
A: White
B: Pale pink
C: Deep blue
D: Yellow
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The ‘Faust’ cultivar has deep blue flowers.

50: Which Larkspur species is known to be found in prairies and the sagebrush steppe?
A: Delphinium occidentale
B: Delphinium elatum
C: Delphinium nuttallianum
D: Delphinium cardinale
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Delphinium nuttallianum appears in prairies and the sagebrush steppe.

51: What is the leaf shape of most Larkspur plants?
A: Linear
B: Palmate
C: Elliptical
D: Triangular
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The leaves are deeply lobed with three to seven toothed, pointed lobes in a palmate shape.

52: Which characteristic is notable in Delphinium (Larkspur) flowers?
A: Only has petals
B: Bilaterally symmetrical with a spur
C: Grows in deserts
D: Inconspicuous flowers
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical and have a spur shape.

53: Why do ranchers delay moving cattle onto ranges with Larkspur until late summer?
A: Better grass growth
B: Reduced plant toxicity
C: Cooler weather
D: Presence of water
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ranchers delay moving cattle onto such ranges until late summer when the toxicity of the plants is reduced.

54: What unique feature is contained in Larkspur’s sepals?
A: Spines
B: Nectar spurs
C: Berries
D: Roots
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The uppermost sepal is spurred and encloses the nectar-secreting spurs of the two upper petals.

55: What hybridized flower colors have been sourced from D. cardinale?
A: Yellow and green
B: Shades of red, orange, and pink
C: Purple and black
D: White and blue
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Flower colors in shades of red, orange, and pink have been hybridized from D. cardinale.

56: What is the key feature of the ‘Conspicuous’ cultivar?
A: Blue (deep) flower color
B: Pale mauve flower color
C: White flower color
D: Yellow flower color
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: ‘Conspicuous’ has a pale mauve flower color.

57: What habitat is typical for Delphinium (Larkspur) species like Delphinium bicolor?
A: Forests
B: Prairies and sagebrush steppe
C: Coastal areas
D: Swamps
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Delphinium bicolor appears in habitats like prairies and the sagebrush steppe.

58: What is the predominant flower color of the ‘Blue Dawn’ cultivar?
A: White
B: Pale mauve
C: Dark blue
D: Mid blue
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: ‘Blue Dawn’ has a pale mauve flower color with a violet (deep) eye.

59: What chemistry is associated with the toxic effects of Larkspur in cattle?
A: Diterpenoid alkaloids
B: Flavonoids
C: Saponins
D: Sesquiterpenes
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: All parts of the plant contain various diterpenoid alkaloids, which are very poisonous.

60: Which Delphinium hybrid cultivar is known for growing best in warmer climates compared to Pacific hybrids?
A: Pacific Giant
B: Dowdeswell’s
C: Millennium
D: Consolida
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Millennium delphinium hybrids, bred by Dowdeswell, are reportedly better in warmer climates.

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