Introducing “The Plant Game”

Last fall, I invented a silly game to play at a staff gathering.  People seemed to enjoy it, so I’ve decided to test it out as a periodic feature here on the blog.

Plants, like all organisms, have both a common name and a Latin name.  Latin names (e.g., Dalea purpurea) are most useful to scientists, but common names (e.g., purple prairie clover) are easier for most of us to remember.  However, common names can also be really goofy.  In fact, some of them are almost unbelievable, and that is the basis for this game.

The point of the game is to look at four alleged plant names and guess which one of them I made up.  Three of the names are listed in The Flora of Nebraska as official plant names, but one is completely fake.  See if you can guess.  I’m hoping that even trained botanists will struggle with some of these because they tend to use Latin names more than common names.

Let’s see how this goes.  I’ll provide the correct answers in a blog post later this week.  (Don’t cheat – just guess.  It’s more fun that way.)


Oh, and it seems like we should have a better name for this than “The Plant Game”, so if you have suggestions, please let me know in the comments section below.  Puns are welcome.