Cultivar – What Is It?


What is a cultivar? What are their advantages? My husband and I are expecting a little seedling in the fall. Thank goodness there is only one in here, but say I were having identical twins. They would be genetically identical, just like a plant “cultivar”.

When the seeds of something like Redtwig Dogwood (Redosier Dogwood) are grown, all of the new plants that emerge will be related, but will also have some variability in their attributes. Like brothers and sisters. To preserve these attributes, the plants will be vegetatively reproduced, perhaps by cuttings or root divisions. These plants are called “cultivars”.

The advantage of using a cultivar versus a straight species is that they are often selected for disease resistance, color, or compact habit, making them ideal additions to your family of landscape plants.