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Quiz: Name That Seed!

Photo: http://www.rp-group.bg

Every seed is different. There are some 300,000 seed-bearing plant species (angiosperms and gymnosperms) on this planet and each one has seeds that are different from any other. In fact, sometimes similar-looking plant species are best told apart by studying their seeds.

As someone who has grown plants from seed for over fifty years, I’ve always been fascinated by seed shapes. Big ones, little ones, round ones, long ones, with sticky hooks or little parachutes: there’s just so much variety. I can recall as a lad opening a pack of mixed annual flowers and carefully separating the seeds by shape so I could see which each type would grow into. What a fascinating experience!

Match These Names to the Photos Below

Here are 20 common plants listed in alphabetical order. How many can you match with the photo below?

A. Apple (Malus domestica)
B. Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
C. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
D. Calendula or pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)
E. Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
F. Clematis (Clematis sp.)
G. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
H. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
I. Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
J. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
K. Maple (Acer saccharinum)
L. Milkweed (Asclepias syriacus)
M. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
N. Oak (Quercus rubra)
O. Pelargonium or geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum)
P. Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Q. Squash or pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
R. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
S. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
T. Wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Photos

1.

Photo: http://www.quickcrop.co.uk

2.

Photo: steemit.com

3.

Photo: http://www.needpix.com

4.

Photo: pxhere.com

5.

Photo: nuts.com

6.

Photo: Susan Pelton, UConn

7.

Photo: potomac.org

8.

Photo: gardenintheburrow.com

9.

Photo: http://www.amazon.ca

10.

Photo: http://www.naturespath.com

11.

Photo: nathanrupley.wordpress.com

12.

Photo: nyspicehouse.com

13.

Photo: stores.southgaseedco.com

14.

Photo: Lorna Kring, gardenerspath.com

15.

Photo: pxhere.com

16.

Photo: http://www.funcage.com

17.

Photo: http://www.ayoubs.ca

18.

Photo: Zhangzhugang, Wikimedia Commons

19.

Photo: vidya-ayurveda.org

20.

Photo: mycotopia.net

Answers

  1. S. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
  2. D. Calendula or pot marigold (Calendula officinalis)
  3. H. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  4. B. Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea cyanus)
  5. R. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  6. L. Milkweed (Asclepias syriacus)
  7. N. Oak (Quercus rubra)
  8. O. Pelargonium or geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum)
  9. E. Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
  10. T. Wheat (Triticum aestivum)
  11. K. Maple (Acer saccharinum)
  12. J. Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)
  13. C. Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  14. M. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  15. I. Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  16. F. Clematis (Clematis sp.)
  17. Q. Squash or pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)
  18. G. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  19. A. Apple (Malus domestica)
  20. P. Poppy (Papaver somniferum)

How Did You Do?

0–4 correct answers: You’re probably very much a beginner with seeds. Try sowing a garden this summer and you’ll do better next time.

5–10 correct answers: You’re a very observant person, although maybe not a seed gardener … yet. Start your own vegetables and flowers from seed this spring and you’ll learn a lot.

11–15 correct answers: You’ve been gardening for a while, haven’t you, as you certainly know your way around seeds! Congratulations. 

16–20 correct answers: You’re obviously a seed wizard! Maybe you should be writing this blog!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

3 comments on “Quiz: Name That Seed!

  1. I got all 20! . . . but only by the process of elimination. Calendula, bachelor button, milkweed and cosmos were the difficult ones.

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