Rhipsalis Trivia Questions and Answers

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  1. What is the common nickname for plants in the genus Rhipsalis?
    A: Cacao cactus
    B: Mistletoe cactus
    C: Ghost cactus
    D: Night-blooming cactus
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis is commonly known as mistletoe cacti due to their resemblance to the mistletoe plant.
  2. Which of the following continents does Rhipsalis naturally occur in?
    A: Europe
    B: North America
    C: Africa
    D: Australia
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis is the only cactus genus naturally found in the Old World, including parts of Africa and Asia.
  3. What type of plants does Rhipsalis most often grow as?
    A: Parasites
    B: Epiphytes
    C: Aquatic plants
    D: Desert shrubs
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis are epiphytic plants, meaning they grow on other plants without harming them.
  4. From which Ancient Greek term is the name “Rhipsalis” derived?
    A: Hylē (forest)
    B: Rhips (wickerwork)
    C: Anthos (flower)
    D: Kaktos (cactus)
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: The name “Rhipsalis” comes from the Ancient Greek term “rhips,” meaning wickerwork, referring to the plant’s morphology.
  5. In which order are Rhipsalis plants classified?
    A: Rosales
    B: Caryophyllales
    C: Sapindales
    D: Fabales
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis belongs to the order Caryophyllales.
  6. Which species of Rhipsalis is noted for having red flowers?
    A: Rhipsalis dissimilis
    B: Rhipsalis hoelleri
    C: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    D: Rhipsalis baccifera
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis hoelleri is the only species within the genus that bears red flowers.
  7. What kind of berry colors can be found in Rhipsalis fruits?
    A: Blue and purple
    B: White, pink, red, or yellow
    C: Green and orange
    D: Black and brown
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: The fruits of Rhipsalis are berries which can be whitish, pink, red, or yellow.
  8. Who first described the genus Rhipsalis in 1788?
    A: Charles Darwin
    B: Joseph Gaertner
    C: Carl Linnaeus
    D: Gregor Mendel
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Joseph Gaertner first described the genus Rhipsalis in 1788.
  9. What significant mistake did Joseph Gaertner make when classifying Rhipsalis?
    A: He thought it was a type of mushroom.
    B: He believed it was a species of fern.
    C: He classified it as a parasitic laurel.
    D: He thought it was an aquatic plant.
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Gaertner thought he had found a new species of Cassytha, a parasitic laurel, rather than a cactus.
  10. As of January 2023, how many subgenera did molecular studies confirm within Rhipsalis?
    A: Two
    B: Three
    C: Four
    D: Five
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Molecular studies in 2011 led to a new subgeneric classification with three monophyletic subgenera.
  11. Which subgenus does Rhipsalis dissimilis belong to?
    A: Phyllarthrorhipsalis
    B: Epallagogonium
    C: Calamorhipsalis
    D: Erythrorhipsalis
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis dissimilis belongs to the subgenus Calamorhipsalis.
  12. Where is the center of diversity for Rhipsalis?
    A: The Amazon Rainforest
    B: The Mata Atlantica in southeastern Brazil
    C: The Sahara Desert
    D: The Andes Mountains
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: The center of diversity for Rhipsalis is in the rainforests of the Mata Atlantica in southeastern Brazil.
  13. What unique characteristic does Rhipsalis pilocarpa have?
    A: It grows underground.
    B: It has bristles on stems and fruits.
    C: It produces blue flowers.
    D: It photosynthesizes at night.
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis pilocarpa is unique for having stems and fruits densely covered by bristles.
  14. Which species is included in the subgenus Epallagogonium?
    A: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    B: Rhipsalis pacheco-leonis
    C: Rhipsalis pentaptera
    D: Rhipsalis floccosa
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Rhipsalis cereuscula falls under the subgenus Epallagogonium.
  15. Which Rhipsalis species is known for vivipary (germination of seeds within the fruit)?
    A: Rhipsalis agudoensis
    B: Rhipsalis baccifera
    C: Rhipsalis ormindoi
    D: Rhipsalis grandiflora
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Vivipary has been observed in Rhipsalis baccifera.
  16. In which habitats is Rhipsalis primarily found?
    A: Deserts only
    B: Tropical rainforests
    C: Sand dunes
    D: Alpine regions
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis is primarily found as pendulous epiphytes in tropical rainforests.
  17. Which academic publication accepted 35 species and five subgenera of Rhipsalis?
    A: The New Encyclopedia of Plants
    B: The Plant Atlas
    C: The New Cactus Lexicon
    D: The Desert Plant Guide
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: The New Cactus Lexicon accepted 35 species and five subgenera of Rhipsalis.
  18. Which Rhipsalis species has been studied for its molecular genetics in 2011?
    A: Rhipsalis micrantha
    B: Rhipsalis crispata
    C: Rhipsalis pilocarpa
    D: Rhipsalis neves-armondii
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Rhipsalis micrantha has been observed for its molecular genetics.
  19. What color are typical Rhipsalis flowers?
    A: Blue or violet
    B: White or whitish
    C: Green or yellow
    D: Black or brown
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Most Rhipsalis species have small flowers that are white or whitish in color.
  20. How does Rhipsalis typically reproduce?
    A: Through spores
    B: By fragmentation
    C: Seed-based reproduction with berries
    D: Via underground runners
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis reproduces through seed-based reproduction, with its fruits being berries.
  21. Which fruit type is always produced by Rhipsalis plants?
    A: Capsules
    B: Nuts
    C: Berries
    D: Drupes
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: The fruits of Rhipsalis are always berries.
  22. Rhipsalis is most closely related to which type of plant structure?
    A: Trees
    B: Grasses
    C: Vines
    D: Succulents
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Rhipsalis consists of succulent plants with varying degrees of succulence.
  23. Which researcher is connected with a new subgeneric classification of Rhipsalis published in 2012?
    A: Charles Darwin
    B: Carl Linnaeus
    C: Rita Calvente
    D: Gregor Mendel
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rita Calvente is associated with the 2012 subgeneric classification.
  24. In which subgenus is Rhipsalis cereuscula classified?
    A: Calamorhipsalis
    B: Epallagogonium
    C: Erythrorhipsalis
    D: Phyllarthrorhipsalis
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis cereuscula falls under Epallagogonium.
  25. What aspect of Rhipsalis morphology is referenced by its name derived from the term “wickerwork”?
    A: Its flower shape
    B: Its leaf color
    C: Its stem structure
    D: Its root system
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: The name references the wickerwork-like structure of the stems.
  26. Which type of climate is Rhipsalis not native to?
    A: Tropical
    B: Arid deserts
    C: Temperate forests
    D: Alpine
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Rhipsalis is not native to alpine climates.
  27. Which of the following is not a habitat type for some species of Rhipsalis?
    A: Epilithic (growing on rocks)
    B: Terrestrial (ground-dwelling)
    C: Aquatic (in water bodies)
    D: Epiphytic (on other plants)
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis does not grow in aquatic habitats.
  28. In addition to tropical America, where else can Rhipsalis be naturally found?
    A: Europe
    B: Australia
    C: Madagascar
    D: Antarctica
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Besides tropical America, Rhipsalis can be found in Madagascar and some parts of Africa and Asia.
  29. How many subgenera of monophyletic groups were proposed for Rhipsalis in the revised classification?
    A: One
    B: Two
    C: Three
    D: Four
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: A new classification proposed three subgenera of monophyletic groups for Rhipsalis.
  30. Which subgenus of Rhipsalis includes Rhipsalis neves-armondii?
    A: Erythrorhipsalis
    B: Calamorhipsalis
    C: Phyllarthrorhipsalis
    D: Rhipsalis
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis neves-armondii belongs to the subgenus Calamorhipsalis.
  31. What year was the genus Rhipsalis first described?
    A: 1765
    B: 1788
    C: 1801
    D: 1825
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Joseph Gaertner first described the genus Rhipsalis in 1788.
  32. Which Rhipsalis species has the smallest diameter flowers, about 1 cm?
    A: Rhipsalis dissimilis
    B: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    C: Rhipsalis pilocarpa
    D: Rhipsalis hoelleri
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Most species of Rhipsalis, including R. cereuscula, have flowers around 1 cm in diameter.
  33. What is the tribe of Rhipsalis within the cactus family?
    A: Notocacteae
    B: Cacteae
    C: Rhipsalideae
    D: Hylocereeae
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis belongs to the tribe Rhipsalideae within the cactus family.
  34. Which characteristic is common among the majority of Rhipsalis species’ juvenile stages?
    A: Presence of spines
    B: Flowering
    C: Developing fruits
    D: Leaf production
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Spines usually appear only in the juvenile stages in most Rhipsalis species.
  35. Which species of Rhipsalis has fruits covered with bristles, making it unique?
    A: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    B: Rhipsalis pilocarpa
    C: Rhipsalis baccifera
    D: Rhipsalis micrantha
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis pilocarpa has fruits densely covered with bristles.
  36. Who proposed the molecular study in 2011 that dealt with Rhipsalis classification?
    A: Joseph Hooker
    B: Gregor Mendel
    C: Carl Linnaeus
    D: Rita Calvente
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Rita Calvente was involved in the 2011 molecular study that dealt with Rhipsalis classification.
  37. What type of ecological role do epiphytic plants such as Rhipsalis play?
    A: Primary consumers
    B: Parasites
    C: Supporters of plant diversity
    D: Soil enhancers
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Epiphytic plants like Rhipsalis increase plant diversity and provide habitats for other organisms.
  38. Which region is not a natural habitat for Rhipsalis?
    A: Central America
    B: Northern Europe
    C: Caribbean
    D: Southeast Brazil
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis is not found in northern Europe.
  39. The morphology of Rhipsalis is generally:
    A: Uniform
    B: Highly variable
    C: Triangular
    D: Consistent with desert cacti
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis exhibits highly variable morphology among different species.
  40. What kind of growth patterns can be observed among Rhipsalis plants?
    A: Upright and sprawling
    B: Forward and backward growth
    C: Coiling around other plants
    D: Underground extensions
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Rhipsalis plants mostly grow pendent, while some can grow upright or sprawling.
  41. What is the distribution range for Rhipsalis dissimilis?
    A: China and India
    B: Brazil (Paraná, São Paulo)
    C: Mexico and California
    D: Australia and New Zealand
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis dissimilis is found in Brazil, specifically in the states of Paraná and São Paulo.
  42. Why are some species of Rhipsalis notable for having no spines?
    A: They have evolved to avoid herbivores.
    B: They only display spines in juvenile stages.
    C: They live exclusively underwater.
    D: They are genetically modified plants.
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Many Rhipsalis species exhibit spines only during their juvenile stage.
  43. In the proposed classification, which subgenus does Rhipsalis baccifera belong to?
    A: Calamorhipsalis
    B: Erythrorhipsalis
    C: Phyllarthrorhipsalis
    D: Rhipsalis
    Correct Answer: D
    Explanation: Rhipsalis baccifera is classified under the subgenus Rhipsalis.
  44. Which of the following species are found in Rhipsalis subgenus Calamorhipsalis?
    A: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    B: Rhipsalis dissimilis
    C: Rhipsalis baccifera
    D: Rhipsalis grandiflora
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis dissimilis belongs to the subgenus Calamorhipsalis.
  45. Rhipsalis cereuscula typically has what kind of flowers?
    A: Large and bright colored
    B: Small and white
    C: Blue and tubular
    D: Yellow and fragrant
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis cereuscula has small, white flowers, typical of many Rhipsalis species.
  46. What is the life form of Rhipsalis that lives on rocks, sometimes found in the wild?
    A: Epilithic
    B: Aquatic
    C: Parasitic
    D: Mangrove
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Some species of Rhipsalis can also grow epilithic, meaning they live on rocks.
  47. What is the primary way Rhipsalis stems differ among species?
    A: Color
    B: Shape (terete, angular, or flattened)
    C: Smell
    D: Edibility
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis stems can be terete, angular, or flattened, varying between species.
  48. Which subgenus of Rhipsalis includes species like Rhipsalis burchellii?
    A: Erythrorhipsalis
    B: Epallagogonium
    C: Phyllarthrorhipsalis
    D: Rhipsalis
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: Rhipsalis burchellii is included in the subgenus Erythrorhipsalis.
  49. Which country does not have native Rhipsalis species?
    A: Argentina
    B: Paraguay
    C: Canada
    D: Peru
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis species are not native to Canada.
  50. Who did the 2011 molecular study reveal about subgenera Rhipsalis, Calamorhipsalis, and Epallagogonium?
    A: They belong to different plant families
    B: They are paraphyletic
    C: They contain no viable species
    D: They can grow in saltwater
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: The 2011 study revealed that subgenera Rhipsalis, Calamorhipsalis, and Epallagogonium are paraphyletic.
  51. What proportion of Rhipsalis species can go through their entire life cycle without spines?
    A: Majority
    B: Minority
    C: None
    D: All
    Correct Answer: A
    Explanation: The majority of Rhipsalis species have no spines or only have spines in the juvenile stage.
  52. Which specific morphology does Rhipsalis trigona exhibit?
    A: Wickerwork-like structure
    B: Terete stems
    C: Large yellow flowers
    D: Blue berries
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis trigona is recognized for having terete stems.
  53. Which of the following is a subgenus of Rhipsalis proposed in the new classification?
    A: Epallagogonium
    B: Erythrorhipsalis
    C: Rhipsalidopsis
    D: Cactiformia
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Erythrorhipsalis is one of the three subgenera proposed in the new classification.
  54. Rhipsalis crispata has a natural distribution in which country?
    A: Costa Rica
    B: Bolivia
    C: Brazil
    D: Sri Lanka
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis crispata naturally occurs in Brazil.
  55. Which Rhipsalis species is not native to tropical Africa?
    A: Rhipsalis baccifera
    B: Rhipsalis cereuscula
    C: Rhipsalis hylaea
    D: Rhipsalis juengeri
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis cereuscula is not found in tropical Africa but is native to South America.
  56. What part of the Rhipsalis plants is succulent?
    A: Flowers
    B: Leaves
    C: Stems
    D: Roots
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis plants have succulent stems.
  57. Which Rhipsalis species is found in both tropical America and the Old World?
    A: Rhipsalis sulcata
    B: Rhipsalis mesembryanthemoides
    C: Rhipsalis baccifera
    D: Rhipsalis pachyptera
    Correct Answer: C
    Explanation: Rhipsalis baccifera is found in both regions, including tropical Africa and islands in the Indian Ocean.
  58. Where can Rhipsalis pentaptera be naturally found?
    A: Asia
    B: Brazil (Rio de Janeiro)
    C: Australia
    D: South Africa
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Rhipsalis pentaptera is found in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  59. What do most Rhipsalis flowers have in common regarding their structure?
    A: Bilateral symmetry
    B: Actinomorphic (radial symmetry)
    C: Tubular shape
    D: Poisonous petals
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Most Rhipsalis flowers are actinomorphic, meaning they have radial symmetry.
  60. During which stage of the life cycle is vivipary observed in some Rhipsalis species?
    A: Seedling
    B: Fruiting
    C: Pollination
    D: Dormancy
    Correct Answer: B
    Explanation: Vivipary

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