Russian Sage Trivia Questions and Answers

brown butterfly perched on green plant during daytime

1: What is the scientific name of Russian sage?
A: Perovskia atriplicifolia
B: Salvia yangii
C: Salvia pamirica
D: Salvia lyrata
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage was renamed Salvia yangii in 2017 to honor Yang Changyou, one of the authors of P. pamirica.

2: Which family does Russian sage belong to?
A: Rosaceae
B: Asteraceae
C: Brassicaceae
D: Lamiaceae
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Russian sage is part of the Lamiaceae family, which includes other aromatic herbs like mint and lavender.

3: Where is Russian sage native to?
A: North America
B: Southwestern and central Asia
C: Southern Europe
D: Northern Africa
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage is native to the steppes and hills of southwestern and central Asia.

4: Which award did the ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar receive from the Royal Horticultural Society?
A: Plant of the Year
B: Award of Garden Merit
C: Gold Medal
D: Best New Plant
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar received the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1993.

5: What is the flowering season of Russian sage?
A: Early Spring to Late Summer
B: Mid-Summer to Late October
C: Late Autumn to Early Winter
D: Early Winter to Mid-Spring
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage flowers from mid-summer to late October, providing long-lasting blooms.

6: Which compound is commonly identified in the essential oil of Russian sage?
A: Camphor
B: Menthol
C: Eucalyptol
D: Thymol
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Eucalyptol is a dominant component found in the essential oil of Russian sage.

7: What kind of leaf shape does Russian sage display?
A: Pinnatipartite
B: Palmate
C: Simple
D: Needle-like
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The leaves of Russian sage are pinnatipartite, with deeply incised margins.

8: How tall can Russian sage typically grow?
A: 0.5 to 1.2 meters
B: 1 to 2 meters
C: 2 to 3 meters
D: 3 to 4 meters
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Russian sage can grow to heights ranging from 0.5 to 1.2 meters.

9: For what reason is Russian sage considered suitable for xeriscaping?
A: High water requirement
B: Drought tolerance
C: Shade preference
D: Soil-specific growth
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage is highly drought tolerant and therefore suitable for xeriscaping.

10: Which compound in Russian sage’s essential oil acts as a biopesticide?
A: Limonene
B: Thujone
C: γ-terpinene
D: (+)-β-thujone
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: (+)-β-thujone in Russian sage’s essential oil can function as a biopesticide.

11: Which plant structure in Russian sage is described as “formed by stellate, or star-shaped, trichomes”?
A: Root
B: Leaf
C: Stem
D: Flower
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The stems of Russian sage are covered by an indumentum formed by stellate, or star-shaped, trichomes.

12: What type of habitat does Russian sage typically thrive in?
A: Wetlands
B: Forests
C: Steppes and hillsides
D: Coastal areas
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage thrives in the steppes and hillsides within its native range.

13: What type of habit does Russian sage exhibit?
A: Climbing
B: Erect to spreading
C: Crawling
D: Trailing
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage has an erect to spreading habit.

14: How long can the inflorescence of Russian sage be?
A: 10-15 cm
B: 30-38 cm
C: 50-60 cm
D: 70-80 cm
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The inflorescence of Russian sage can grow to be 30-38 cm long.

15: What year was the ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar first exhibited?
A: 1930
B: 1945
C: 1961
D: 1980
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar was first exhibited in 1961 by Notcutts Nurseries in the UK.

16: Which of the following is NOT a monoterpene found in Russian sage?
A: Carene
B: α-pinene
C: γ-cadinene
D: Limonene
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: γ-cadinene is a sesquiterpene, not a monoterpene.

17: How are Russian sage flowers described in terms of their impact from a distance?
A: Like a dense shrub
B: Like a solid wall
C: Like a fine haze or fog
D: Like individual dots
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The flowers of Russian sage are described as “like a fine haze or fog” from a distance.

18: How long do the nutlets of Russian sage measure?
A: 1 mm long
B: 2 mm long
C: 3 mm long
D: 4 mm long
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The nutlets of Russian sage are about 2 mm long.

19: Which Salvia species is in the same clade as Russian sage?
A: Salvia rosmarinus
B: Salvia lyrata
C: Salvia verticillata
D: Salvia officinalis
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Salvia rosmarinus (formerly Rosmarinus officinalis) is in the same clade as Russian sage.

20: For what purpose are the flowers of Russian sage used in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
A: Making tea
B: Flavoring stews
C: Adding to salads for a sweet flavor
D: Brewing ale
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The flowers of Russian sage are eaten in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, including Kashmir, adding a sweet flavor to salads.

21: Which year was Russian sage selected as the Perennial Plant Association’s Plant of the Year?
A: 1985
B: 1990
C: 1995
D: 2000
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage was selected as the Perennial Plant Association’s Plant of the Year in 1995.

22: What botanical characteristic makes Russian sage similar to lavender?
A: Square stems
B: Spikey flowers
C: Oblong leaves
D: Growth habit
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Russian sage resembles a larger version of lavender superficially, with similar growth habits.

23: What type of environments does Russian sage’s habitat in Pakistan’s Quetta district compare to in North America?
A: Wetland marshes
B: Boreal forests
C: Tropical rainforests
D: Sagebrush steppe
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The harsh habitats preferred by Russian sage are comparable to the sagebrush steppe of North America.

24: What method of propagation is frequently used for Russian sage?
A: Division
B: Cuttings
C: Air layering
D: Grafting
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage is frequently propagated by cuttings.

25: What kind of landscape feature is Russian sage most suitable for?
A: Coastal gardens
B: Waterlogged areas
C: Accents or filling larger landscaping features
D: Indoor pots
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage is most commonly planted as an accent feature or used as filler within a larger landscaping feature.

26: What fragrance does the foliage of Russian sage produce when crushed?
A: Rosemary
B: Turpentine
C: Mint
D: Citrus
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The foliage of Russian sage is aromatic with a fragrance described as sage-like or like turpentine.

27: Which essential oil compound in Russian sage is identified as the most prevalent in a sample from the Orto Botanico dell’Università di Torino?
A: Eucalyptol
B: Menthol
C: Carene
D: Camphor
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Camphor was identified as the most prevalent component in the essential oil of a sample from the Orto Botanico dell’Università di Torino.

28: Which U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones is Russian sage grown in North America?
A: Three through nine
B: Four through ten
C: Five through eleven
D: Six through twelve
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Russian sage is grown in North America in USDA hardiness zones three through nine.

29: Why might the spread of Russian sage via rhizomes be considered undesirable in landscaping?
A: Requires frequent watering
B: Attracts pests
C: May become too invasive
D: High maintenance for pruning
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage has an undesirable tendency to spread via rhizomes beyond its original planting.

30: Which technique is suggested for trimming the plant in early spring for best subsequent growth and flowering?
A: Pruning back to soil level
B: Cutting back to 15-61 cm (6-24 inches)
C: Deadheading flowers
D: Trimming only the topthird
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Plants trimmed to 15-61 cm (6-24 inches) in early spring provide the best subsequent growth and flowering.

31: How many species are recognized within Salvia subg. Perovskia including Russian sage?
A: Five
B: Seven
C: Nine
D: Eleven
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Nine species are recognized within Salvia subg. Perovskia, including Russian sage.

32: In what traditional use is Russian sage smoked?
A: As a euphoriant
B: For respiratory ailments
C: In religious ceremonies
D: To enhance focus
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Russian sage has been smoked traditionally as a euphoriant.

33: Which characteristic is ideal for using Russian sage in borders, according to gardening author Troy Marden?
A: Dense growth
B: See-through quality
C: Bright flowers
D: Low maintenance
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Gardening author Troy Marden describes Russian sage as having a “see-through” quality that is ideal for borders.

34: Where was the ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar originally selected from?
A: Israel
B: Germany
C: Italy
D: Switzerland
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The ‘Blue Spire’ cultivar was selected from German plantings by the British Notcutts Nurseries.

35: The species Salvia yangii has been reported to grow at what altitude in the Karakoram?
A: 5,000 ft
B: 7,000 ft
C: 10,000 ft
D: 12,000 ft
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage has been recorded to grow at an altitude of 10,000 ft in the Karakoram.

36: How is the scientific name Perovskia atriplicifolia pronounced?
A: /pəˈrɒvskiə ætrɪplɪsɪˈfoʊliə/
B: /pəˈrɒvskiə atriplisifolia/
C: /perovskia atriplicifolia/
D: /prəˈrɔskia atriplisifolia/
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The scientific name Perovskia atriplicifolia is pronounced /pəˈrɒvskiə ætrɪplɪsɪˈfoʊliə/.

37: Which soil condition is NOT favorable for Russian sage?
A: Heavy clay with little drainage
B: Sandy soil
C: Chalky soil
D: Loamy soil
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Heavy clay soil with little drainage is not favorable for Russian sage, which prefers well-drained conditions.

38: What do the analyses of Russian sage essential oils primarily identify as the dominant components?
A: Alkaloids
B: Monoterpenes and monoterpenoids
C: Fatty acids
D: Proteins
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Most analyses have identified various monoterpenes and monoterpenoids as the dominant components in the essential oil.

39: What is one of the reasons for the rapid popularity gain of Russian sage in the late 1980s and early 1990s?
A: Its ability to grow indoors
B: Its use as a hedge
C: Its long blooming season
D: Its quick growth rate
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage gained widespread popularity due to its long blooming season and attractive flowers.

40: Which practice can help control the spread or flopping of Russian sage planted in partial shade?
A: Overwatering
B: Providing compost
C: Pinching young shoots
D: Spacing plants closely
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Pinching young shoots or providing support can help control the tendency of Russian sage to spread or flop in partially shaded locations.

41: What adverse effect can overwatering have on Russian sage?
A: Enhance its growth
B: Increase flower production
C: Damage its roots
D: Make it more resistant to pests
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Overwatering can damage the roots of Russian sage, leading to a rapid decline in plant health.

42: What is the primary reason suggesting the hybrid name Perovskia ×hybrida for some cultivars of Russian sage?
A: Higher resistance to pests
B: Cross-pollination with other Salvia species
C: Deeply incised leaves
D: Low growth habit
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Many of these cultivars have deeply incised leaves, a characteristic often seen in hybrids of S. yangii and S. abrotanoides, leading to the hybrid name Perovskia ×hybrida.

43: What benefit does Russian sage provide to soil health in terms of phytoremediation?
A: Reduces soil salinity
B: Accumulates toxic heavy metals
C: Enhances nitrogen fixation
D: Improves soil structure
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage is considered for use in phytoremediation due to its ability to accumulate toxic heavy metals from polluted soils.

44: Which compound does NOT belong to the sesquiterpene group found in Russian sage?
A: γ-cadinene
B: δ-cadinene
C: Trans-caryophyllene
D: Limonene
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Limonene is a monoterpene, not a sesquiterpene.

45: What color are the flowers of Russian sage?
A: Yellow
B: Red
C: Blue to violet
D: White
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The flowers of Russian sage are blue to violet in color.

46: What unique visual quality do Russian sage oil droplets contribute to the plant?
A: Reflective shimmer
B: Golden hue
C: Non-reflective matte finish
D: Silvery appearance
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The oil droplets and stellate trichomes give the stems of Russian sage a silvery appearance, especially in autumn.

47: What is the primary utility of Russian sage flowers in folk medicine?
A: Respiratory relief
B: Anti-inflammatory purposes
C: Digestive aid
D: Topical pain relief
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Russian sage flowers have a long history of use in traditional medicine for their topical pain relief properties.

48: What aspect of Russian sage plants makes them generally resistant to being eaten by grazing animals?
A: Toxicity
B: High fiber content
C: Strong aroma
D: Bitter taste
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage plants are generally avoided due to their strong aroma, making them deer-resistant and rabbit-resistant.

49: What growth form do the multiple branches of Russian sage arise from?
A: Single central stem
B: Lateral buds
C: Rhizomatous roots
D: Shared rootstalk
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Multiple branches of Russian sage arise from a shared rootstalk.

50: Which method is NOT commonly used for propagating Russian sage?
A: Seeds
B: Softwood cuttings
C: Hardwood cuttings
D: Air layering
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Air layering is not a common propagation method for Russian sage; it is more commonly propagated by seeds, softwood cuttings, or hardwood cuttings.

51: In what type of garden feature did William Robinson praise Russian sage for its graceful habit and long season of beauty?
A: Formal parterres
B: Choicest gardens
C: Vegetable plots
D: Water gardens
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: William Robinson praised Russian sage as worth a place in the choicest garden for its graceful habit and long season of beauty.

52: What characteristic of Russian sage flowers adds to gardens’ color in the winter?
A: Persistent fruits
B: Evergreen foliage
C: Silvery stems
D: Seed pods
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The silvery stems of Russian sage contribute to winter garden colors.

53: What type of soil is Russian sage most tolerant of?
A: Rich, fertile soil
B: Heavy, poorly drained soil
C: Various types including sandy, chalky, or loamy soil
D: Constantly wet soil
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage can thrive in various soil types including sandy, chalky, and loamy soil.

54: What insect is specifically attracted to Russian sage due to its nectar?
A: Aphids
B: Bees
C: Caterpillars
D: Beetles
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Russian sage attracts bees with its nectar-rich flowers.

55: How often should Russian sage plants be watered to avoid over-fertilization damage?
A: Only during drought conditions
B: Weekly
C: Daily
D: Every other day
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: The deep-feeding taproot of Russian sage makes it drought-tolerant, so it should be watered only during drought conditions to avoid over-fertilization damage.

56: What is a commonly reported description of the fragrance of Russian sage when its leaves are crushed?
A: Rosy
B: Fruity
C: Turpentine-like
D: Vanilla-like
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The fragrance of Russian sage leaves when crushed is often described as turpentine-like.

57: Which type of plant pathogen is Russian sage generally free from?
A: Fungal infections
B: Bacterial blight
C: Viral diseases
D: All of the above
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Russian sage is generally free from most plant pathogens, including fungal infections, bacterial blight, and viral diseases.

58: In what kind of conditions are Russian sage maybe less hardy and need winter protection?
A: Temperate climates
B: Tropical regions
C: Coldest northern areas
D: High humidity regions
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In the coldest northern areas, Russian sage may require

59: Russian sage is suggested as a substitute for which invasive plant?
A: Kudzu
B: Giant hogweed
C: Purple loosestrife
D: Japanese knotweed
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Russian sage has been suggested as a substitute for purple loosestrife because it is not considered invasive.

60: In which prominent UK garden was the cultivar ‘Mystery of Knightshayes’ established?
A: Kew Gardens
B: Knightshayes Court
C: Sissinghurst Castle Garden
D: Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The cultivar ‘Mystery of Knightshayes’ was established by Allan Armitage from a plant found at Knightshayes Court.

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