Can You Match the Flower to Its Scientific Name?


By: Kennita Leon

6 Min Quiz

Image: Savushkin / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

It's one thing to know the names of your favorite flowers and request them in a bouquet, but would you be able to identify them based on their complicated scientific names? While some flowers have common names that are close to their scientific names, the vast majority do not, which can make it very difficult to match the two. But we're going to ask you to try to do it anyway in this quiz. 

So read our questions and find the scientific names. Look out for the clues we've hidden in there as well and then try to match each of the names to the flowers you grew up learning about. We know for a fact you've heard all about the Dianthus caryophyllus, the  Papaver somniferum and the Gardenia jasminoides. In fact, we're pretty sure you've held them in your hands at one point not even knowing that behind those pretty petals lay some pretty impressive words.  

Do you often go on walks and share with your friends the names of each flower you pass? We hope so! Match these beautiful flowers' scientific names to their common names so we can tell you if you really know your stuff. 

Which flower's scientific name is Helianthus annuus?

Helianthus annuus, commonly known as the common sunflower, is a large flower that derived its name from its head's shape, which resembles the sun. It consists of a hairy stem and bright yellow petals that surround a darker-colored flowerhead.


What about Bellis perennis?

Bellis perennis, also known as bruisewort and woundwort, is a member of the Asteraceae family. This species of daisy is native to northern, western and central Europe, though it has been naturalized in Australasia and the Americas.


An ornamental garden plant, what do you think Gypsophila paniculata is?

Gypsophila paniculata is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant grown as a popular ornamental garden plant. It is a species of the Caryophyllaceae family and is indigenous to central and eastern Europe.


It's known as bull bay and its scientific name is Magnolia grandiflora, but what is its common name?

Magnolia grandiflora, also called southern magnolia or bull bay, is a species of the Magnoliaceae family native to the southeastern United States. It is a large, evergreen tree known for its white, lemon citronella-scented flowers.


Can you match Gardenia jasminoides to its other name?

Gardenia jasminoides, commonly known as gardenia or jasmine, is an evergreen flowering plants that is native to Asia. A member of the Rubiaceae family, it is easily identified by its glossy green leaves and white, fragrant summer flowers.


Poisonous when ingested, Narcissus is the genus name for which type of flower?

The many species of daffodil belong to the Narcissus genus of the Amaryllidaceae family. It is a poisonous plant that, when ingested, results in diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, trembling, salivation and convulsions.


Extremely popular in Asian cultures, which of these flowers is the Paeonia officinalis?

Paeonia officinalis, also referred to as garden peony or common peony, is a species of ornamental flowers grown in France, Italy and Switzerland. It is a member of the Paeoniaceae family and was initially cultivated for medicinal purposes.


Which flower's scientific name is Strelitzia reginae?

Strelitzia reginae is an evergreen perennial flowering plant indigenous to South America. It is nicknamed the bird of paradise and the crane flower because of its colorful flowerhead, which consists of three orange sepals and three purplish-blue or white petals.


A flower with very bright petals, what is the Rhododendron ponticum?

Rhododendron ponticum, native to southwest Asia and southern Europe, is a species of rhododendron nicknamed common rhododendron and pontic rhododendron. It is a dense, small tree with evergreen leaves and small, purple-violet flowers.


This flower comes in a variety of colors but has one common name. What is the Lathyrus odoratus?

Lathyrus odoratus, commonly called sweet pea, is a species of flowering plant of the the Fabaceae family. Its flowers come in a variety of colors, though those in the wild are purple and broader and larger.


Can you match Nerium indicum to its common name?

Oleander is a toxic, widely cultivated shrub or small tree of the Nerium genus and the toxic Apocynaceae family (also known as the dogbane family). It is known for its sweet-scented clusters of flowers with a white and pink to red coloration.


This ornamental plant's scientific name is Callistephus chinensis. What is its common name?

Callistephus chinensis, native to China and Korea, belongs to the aster family, Asteraceae. Callistephus is a monotypic genus, meaning it contains only one species, Callistephus chinensis, which is widely cultivated as a cut flower and ornamental plant.


Nelumbium nucifera is said to grow out of the mud onto the surface of the water. Which flower are we talking about?

Nelumbium nucifera is one of two species of aquatic plant of the Nelumbonaceae family. It is known by many names ,including lotus, water lily, sacred lotus, Indian lotus, bean of India and Egyptian bean.


Which flower do you think Nymphaea stellata is?

Nymphaea stellata is a water lily of the genus Nymphaea and is known by several names, including star lotus, blue lotus, blue star water lily and red and blue water lily. It is the national flower of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


What is the common name of Zinnia elegans, which is native to Mexico?

Native to Mexico, Zinnia elegans is an annual flowering plant commonly referred to as common zinnia, elegant zinnia and youth-and-age. This species comes in a wide range of colors including white, pink, red, purple, green, yellow, orange, salmon and bronze.


Its nickname is the creeping crowfoot, whereas its scientific name is Ranunculus repens. What is this flower's common name?

Ranunculus repens, the creeping buttercup, is a herbaceous, stoloniferous perennial plant of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. It is known as creeping crowfoot and sitfast and is indigenous to Asia, Europe and northwestern Africa.


Do you know which flower belongs to the Tagetes genus?

Native to North and South America, the Tagetes species includes a variety of marigold species. Marigolds have a variety of uses, from insect repellent to perfume to food coloring.


This particular flower is a hybrid that resulted in the scientific name Pelargonium x hortorum. What is its common name?

Pelargonium x hortorum, often called geranium, is a hybrid cross of the scarlet geranium and horse-shoe pelargonium. It is an upright or scrambling shrub known for its small, clustered flowers that vary in color from white to rose to red.


Which tropical plant belongs to the Begoniaceae family?

Begoniaceae is a family of flowering plants known by their common name, begonia. Known for their bright, colorful flowers, the family contains two genera and over 1,800 species and is native to tropical and subtropical climates.


What do you think Convallaria majalis is?

Convallaria majalis is a sweet-scented woodland flowering plant indigenous to the temperate Northern Hemisphere in Europe and Asia. When ingested, this poisonous plant leads to an irregular and slow pulse, diarrhea and abdominal pain.


Clove pink and Dianthus caryophyllus are names this flower goes by. Which option is the third?

Dianthus caryophyllus, also known as the carnation or clove pink, is a herbaceous perennial plant. It is well known for its sweetly scented flowers, which were initially bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars may be red, white, green and yellow.


What is the common name of the extremely familiar Taraxacum officinale?

Taraxacum officinale is a flowering herbaceous perennial plant found in the temperate regions of the world. A member of the Asteraceae family, it is known for its yellow flowerheads that turn into silvery, tufted balls called "blowballs" or "clocks."


Which flower comes to mind when you see Eranthis hyemalis?

Eranthis hyemalis, commonly known as winter aconite, is a species of the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. This plant is indigenous to the woodlands of Italy, France and the Balkans and is toxic to humans and other mammals.


Oenothera biennis is this flower's scientific name. Can you tell us its common one?

Oenothera biennis is commonly called evening primrose, sundrop or evening star. This flowering plant's native range spans central and eastern North America, and it is widely cultivated to produce evening primrose oil.


Which festive plant has the scientific name Poinsettia pulcherrima?

Nicknamed Christmas Star, the poinsettia is a shrub or small tree of the diverse Euphorbiaceae family. This species is popular in Christmas decor thanks to its red and green foliage.


A primarily white flowering plant, what's the common name for Anemone hupehensis?

Anemone hupehensis is another member of the Ranunculaceae family. Though endemic to central China, it's also been naturalized in Japan for centuries.


Which of the options below is also called Hyacinthoides non-scripta?

Hyacinthoides non-scripta, known as the common bluebell or simply bluebell, is a bulbous perennial plant frequently cultivated as a garden plant. It is easily recognized by its violet-blue, trumpet-shaped flowers that droop towards the ground.


The Centaurea cyanus is indigenous to Europe. What other name do people know it by?

Centaurea cyanus is an annual flowering plant indigenous to Europe, where it is now endangered due to agricultural intensification. Commonly known as cornflower or bachelor's button, it is noted for its intense blue flowerhead with gray-green branched stems.


Can you match Papaver somniferum to its common name?

Papaver somniferum, known as poppy, opium poppy and breadseed poppy, is a species of flowering plant. It widely grown as an ornamental plant in gardens and also for poppy seeds and the drug opium.


Dianthus superbus can be found on more than one continent. But can you find its common name?

Dianthus superbus is a species with six subspecies. Native to Europe and northern Asia, it is a herbaceous perennial plant with green to grayish-green leaves and pinkish, sweetly scented flowers.


Whose name is Lonicera caprifolium, scientifically speaking?

Lonicera caprifolium is a species of perennial flowering plants native to Europe and naturalized in northeastern North America and southeast Britain. It is noted for its sweetly scented, cream-colored flowers tinged with pink.


Which flower has the scientific name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis?

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a species of hibiscus known by many names, including China rose, Chinese hibiscus, Hawaiian hibiscus and rose mallow. It is native to East Asia and is a member of the Hibiscus tribe of the Malvaceae family.


A flower that grows in clusters, what's the common name of the Antirrhinum majus?

Antirrhinum majus, native to the Mediterranean region, is a species of flowering plants known for its cluster of small flowers growing on a tall spike. The flowers have a pink to purple coloration with yellow lips.


Dicentra spectabilis is better known by which name?

Dicentra spectabilis is the sole species of the monotypic genus Lamprocapnos within the poppy family, Papaveraceae. This brightpink and white flower is nicknamed the bleeding heart due to its heart shape with a droplet beneath.


Anthurium andraeanum is also known as laceleaf and tailflower, but what other name does it go by?

Anthurium andraeanum, also called the flamingo flower, laceleaf and tailflower, is a flowering plant native to Ecuador and Colombia. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant because of its bright coloring and unique shape.


Do you think you can tell us which flower the Digitalis genus includes?

The Digitalis genus comprises nearly 20 species, also referred to as foxgloves. Foxgloves are toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate, seizures and sometimes death.


This flower is used a lot in teas and has the scientific name Anthemis nobilis. Which of these is it?

Anthemis nobilis, or chamomile, is a low perennial plant grown in Europe, North America and Argentina and is used to make herbal teas, cosmetics and perfumes and to flavor food. It is identified by its daisy-like white and yellow flowers.


This small flower comes from a big family known as Amaranthaceae. What's its common name?

Amaranthaceae is a family of flowering plants comprised of 165 genera and 2,040 species, all known by the common name amaranth. The flowers are small and may be solitary or clustered together.


Known as cow bitter, golden button and Tanacetum vulgare, which flower is this?

Tanacetum vulgare is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant known as the common tansy, cow bitter, golden buttons and bitter buttons. It is identified by its stout, reddish stem and small, yellow button-like flowers.


Which popular flower has the scientific name Celosia cristata?

Celosia cristata is an ornamental plant commonly called the cockscomb because of the shape of its flowerhead, which resembles a rooster's comb. It is an edible plant and is grown as food in parts of Africa and Asia.


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