Winter botany quiz #2

In the first winter botany quiz, I learned that I have some rather astute botanists amongst my readership. They were not only able to quickly identify to species every plant I had pictured but also identify their commonality, sometimes from quite afar. As a result, this one is harder.  I use the term “winter botany quiz” in the broadest possible sense – just because it’s winter here doesn’t mean it’s cold everywhere! All of the photos were taken in the same general (for now unspecified) locality during late November and early December (this paragraph simply reeks of clues!).

To give everyone a fair chance, I’ve turned on comment moderation so people can submit their answers without seeing what has already been submitted.  I’ll remove moderation after a couple days or so.  First one with all the right answers wins the admiration and jealousy of their peers!




#1B - closeup of flowers in #1A




#2B - closeup of flowers of #2A


#3A - the vine, not the trees


#3B - closeup of vine base

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
This entry was posted in Hyacinthaceae, Orchidaceae, Passifloraceae and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Winter botany quiz #2

  1. Hi Ted-

    Well, I’m going to guess Liliaceae for #1 and Orchidaceae for #2, but that is as far as I can go. Fascinating plants for sure! I was out photographing insects this afternoon in the leaf litter, take a look at what I found if you have a second, I would appreciate your thoughts.


  2. I know you want more specific than this, but #1 is an aloe #2 an Orchid and #3 has got me stumped although I am sure I have seen something similar before. If it is the one I am thinking of, it gets a red flower.

    I am useless with plants and trees as you have noticed.

  3. Nice challenge! I can see that 2 is an orchid, which gives me some idea of where you were. But this is a flora that I don’t know. Looking forward to the answers!

  4. Doug Taron says:

    These are from South Africa, aren’t they? I can’t say anything about the first beyond that it’s in the Liliaceae. The orchid looks like it might be an Oncidium. I have no idea what the vine is, though it has a splendid caudex.

  5. Okay, I’ll let this group of comments through. I knew this would be a hard one, but people are definitely on the right track as far as where these photographs were taken and which plant families are involved. Hopefully these clues will help people narrow down to genus and possibly even species.

    Another clue – both #1 and #2 represent genera widely cultivated in horticulture. Let’s see if this helps 😉

  6. Doug Taron says:

    My second guess for the orchid genus would be Phalaenopsis.

  7. James C. Trager says:

    Common in horticulture, hmm. That first one looks like an Ornithogalum, kin to the invasive “star of Bethlehem” O. umbellatum.

    I feel like I should know that last one, since my brother is something of an expert on South African xeriphytes, and I thinks I’ve see it in his collection. Some type of asclepiad?

  8. Good efforts, all – thanks for playing. Answers are up in “Answers to “Winter botany quiz #2″.”

  9. Pingback: Berry Go Round #15 | A Neotropical Savanna

  10. Tom G says:

    Hi All,

    #1 looks like an Albuca or an Ornithogalum (both bulbous plants from S Africa). #2 looks like a Dendrobium (epiphytic orchid, possibly with deciduous leaves). #3 might be a yam (with an enormous tuber).


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