Last updated: November 18, 2021

What Does Cultivar Mean?

A cultivar is a plant or group of plants that have been selected from a naturally occurring species and bred to enhance or maintain a particular set of desirable characteristics. These plants almost always originate from human cultivation, propagated through cutting or grafting, and often cannot be grown from seeds from the original plant.


Maximum Yield Explains Cultivar

The term cultivar was created by the botanist Liberty Hyde Bailey as a combination of the words cultivated and variety. Although the term variety is sometimes used interchangeably with cultivar, a variety is different because it can be obtained from a seed and will maintain the characteristics of the original plant. However, a seed from the original plant of a cultivar may be very different and maintain no similar characteristics.

Most cultivars are food crops or ornamental plants. Many ornamental plants, such as roses and azaleas, are cultivated to enhance a particular flower shape, size, or color. In edible plants, desirable characteristics include abundant yield, pleasant taste, and resistance to disease.


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