Skip to main content
Select Source:

Cultivar

Cultivar

Horticultural plants of the same species that are distinctive enough to be given a name are called cultivars, which is short for "cultivated variety." A cultivar can be distinguished from other similar cultivars by some combination of characters, including appearance, color, taste, size, and pest resistance. Although the terms variety and cultivar are used interchangeably, cultivar is not the same as a botanical variety, which is a taxonomic category below the species level that can apply to both wild and cultivated plants.

According to rules for naming plants, cultivar names must be in modern languages and not italicized. The first letters are capitalized and the name is either preceded by the abbreviation cv. (cultivar) or is put in single quotes. For example, a commonly grown yellow tomato is Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Yellow Pear and a popular type of sweet corn is Zea mays 'Silver Queen.' Cultivar names can follow generic, specific, or common names.

New cultivars are usually developed from either wild ancestors or established cultivars through selective breeding, a process that has been ongoing since the domestication of plants. Desired traits can also arise through mutations and plant viruses. Modern technologies of cloning and tissue culture that allow plants to be propagated vegetatively have added greatly to the number of such cultivars now produced.

see also Breeding; Horticulture; Ornamental Plants; Species; Taxonomy.

Sue Thompson

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cultivar." Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cultivar." Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/cultivar

"Cultivar." Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/cultivar

cultivar

cul·ti·var / ˈkəltəˌvär/ • n. Bot. a plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding. Cultivars are usually designated in the style Taxus baccata “Variegata.” See also variety (sense 2).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-0

"cultivar." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-0

cultivar

cultivar Any variety or strain of plant which has been produced by horticultural techniques and is not normally found in wild populations (e.g. bread wheat, Triticum aestivum).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar

cultivar

cultivar A plant that has been developed and maintained by cultivation as a result of agricultural or horticultural practices. The term is derived from cultivated variety.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-1

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-1

cultivar

cultivar Horticultural term for a cultivated variety of plant that is distinct and is uniform and stable in its characteristics when propagated; see also strain.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar

cultivar

cultivar Any variety or strain of plant which has been produced by horticultural techniques and is not normally found in wild populations.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-0

"cultivar." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar-0

cultivar

cultivar •Avar • Alvar •bolivar, Bolívar •cultivar • shalwar • samovar

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cultivar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cultivar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar

"cultivar." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cultivar