Ladies and Gents! Meet the circus clowns, magicians, and tattooed ladies of the green world! From Paula Gross, assistant director of the University of North Carolina Charlotte Botanical Gardens, and Larry Mellichamp, professor of botany and horticulture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and with a forward by Tony Avent, comes Bizarre Botanicals: How to Grow String-of-Hearts, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Panda Ginger, and Other Weird and Wonderful Plants.
To take your mind off the holiday madness, they offer this quiz based on their own form of botanical madness. Identify the plants, match them with their photo, and we’ll send a book to one lucky winner, chosen at random from among the correct answers.
1. What flowerless plant has stems that can grind down the teeth of grazing cattle like green sandpaper?
2. What’s an unassuming ground hugger whose pyrotechnic spores can burst into flame when ignited?
3. Which legume has young leaves that visibly jerk and twitch like signal flags, all on their own?
4. What plant has flowers that cause male bees to jump into a pool of slime with the hopes of finding a mate, only to be nearly drowned before finding the pollen-loaded escape hatch.?
5. Which southwestern US native has seed pods that hook onto the ankles of deer in order to drop seed over wide range each time the poor animal kicks to try to shake it loose?
6. What California native has a dome of tubular leaves that resemble the glistening Crystal Cathedral – but where those who enter are devoured instead of being saved?
Okay! Get to work! Remember, you need all six correct plant names, each matched with the right photo, to win!