Whats the difference between a cultivar and a species?

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Two organisms are of the same species if they can interbreed and produce a breedable result. Compatible pollen, basically.
A cultivar is a breed of plant. A breed is a finer distinction than a species, and it implies an intentional effort on the part of the grower to elicit certain traits.
-- spud_demon -at- thundermaker.net The above may not (yet) represent the opinions of my employer.
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species in animals means those individuals that can breed and produce fertile offspring, but plants means can produce viable seed when pollinated by another of same species. cultivar is an unusual mutation AKA sport. For example, hosta are all one species, but you will see hosta that are blue, hosta that are splashed with white or yellow. these are cultivars and reproduced usually by division. in orchids this is even more important cause the cultivar is registered and cloned to make thousands of identical plants. Ingrid
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Thank you for the replies. I am searching the US patent office plant database for new species but most are "cultivars" which are produced by grafting. In short I am looking for a case where grafting procedures produce new species without viral interaction. I take it, then, that if a cultivar can be cross bred with anything, and then produce Mendalian breeding charateristics, we have a brand-new species?

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Hybrid cultivars are not new species. Even intra-species hybrids (select strain or subspecies bred together) can end up looking vastly different from the natural wild parents. If a sport occurs in your garden of something common, or two plants from different continents hybridize in yoru garden seeding strange intermediate types (as happens with crane's-bills quite often), these novel mutations can be preserved & developed as new strains, & might eventually be registerable as official cultivars, but they won't be new species.
Many rhodies, tulips, & other long-gardened plants have been crossbred & re-crossbred so many times that it is not possible to assign them any Latin botanical name at all, but by no means makes them new kinds of botanicals. A great many would not even survive outside of gardening situations as they cannot produce seeds; they persist only from cloning, division, or from stem & leaf cuttings, & can be produced by the thousands with human assistance, but would be lucky to persist even as individual clumps if planted in the woods & forgotten.
If however a hybrid were completely fertile, escaped to the wild, & naturalized for decades or centuries, it could conceivably become recognized as a new species. Tulipa marjoletti is believed to have once been a gardened tulip of unknown ancestry, a variety that died out of cultivation, but naturalized in the Savoy alps, was rediscovered, given a species name, & subsequently again gardened as a "botanical" or species tulip. Some taxonomists call these sorts of species tulips "Neo-Tulipae" because they have not existed a particularly long time, yet they are nevertheless regarded as their own species now, & this could happen with other cultivated plants in the future.
Taxonomic arguments happen all the time, about intermediary types of plants which are naturally occurring crosses between closely related species with overlapping ranges, & whether or not these should these should be given species status. Very widespread species often have regional populations totally different looking from regional populations elsewhere, but being a different size or color or curious leaf-form is not sufficient to qualify it even as a variant. By contrast, two plants that look identical, but have different numbers of stigma or some distinguishing factor visible only with a microscope, would be completely different species. Now that DNA tests have been added to the taxonomic questions, many plants formerly thought to be of differing species are now lumped together as all the same species, as with the common hepatica which used to have several species now relagated to at most subspecies. Several types of ferns once thought to be regional variants are now known to be natural hybrids, but not given distinct names unless as selected varieties in cultivation, then they score commercial names that might or might not end up as registered cultivar names.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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No, that is not so. Species are taxonomically labeled based on their sameness in flower parts, not the foliage or even the bract. The actual sexual organs of the flower part. You can have, say, a Brugmansia spp. From there, you can breed the Brugmansia (in the solanacea family) to be yellow, or single flowered, etc...those are cultivars because the hand of man insinuated this development.
I think what you are trying to distinguish is the difference between a variety and cultivar, not cultivar and species. There are varieties and cultivar in any given species. All dogs are not husky's. But they are all dogs. You cannot make a dog from something else.
Similarly, you can't manufacture a plant species, unless you discover one which has not yet been discovered.
Cultivar is the product of an introduction, by man/woman, to illicit a particular feature of another variety within the species. Mate a husky with a wolf, you get a hybrid, but still a canine.
Variety is something which, taxonomically did not depend on the hand of man/woman to illicit features by design. It merely already exists. It can be hybridized with another variety to form a cultivar, but it can never be bred to be another species.

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Peter,
Grafting is a method of propagation. Nothing new is produced by grafting. In fact, the reason grafting is useful as a method of propagation is that all plant parts involved in the graft retain their original characteristics.
-beeky
Peter Jason wrote:

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Not necessarily true, beeky.
"Graft hybrids" are chimeras with combinations of tissue from scion and stock originated from grafts.
Do a google search and you will find several examples of "graft hybrids".
"Graft hybrids" are named as cultivars.

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Cereiod,
Graft chimeras are not true somatic hybrids. Graft chimeras retain characteristics of the individual plants involved. This retention of characteristics leads to unusual chimeras such as "bizarre" Orange which bears fruit that is half orange half citron.
--beeky
Cereoid-UR12- wrote:

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We were not talking exclusively about somatic hybrids.
The topic was cultivars and their origins. Cultivars can be of many different origins and not all are genetic in nature.
Try to pay attention and stay on topic.

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Mant thanks for all the replies. Food for thought!

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Liberty Hyde Baily says: "CULTIVAR: a variety or race that has originated and persisten under cultivation, not necessarily refereable to a botanical species, and which is of botanical or taxonomic importance."
the word is made up. CULTI-(vate) VAR (iety)
hermine
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Dirr on the subject:
"Definition: An assemblage of cultivated plants which is clearly distinguished by any characters (morphological, physiological, cytological, chemical, or others) and which when reproduced (sexually or asexually) retains its distinguishing characteristic(s)... Cultivar includes seed produced plants that are homogeneous for one or more characteristics. This applies to woody and herbaceous plants."
cultivar: a cultivated variety. cultivated: maintained by man.

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An obsolete and incorrect definition in a book by a long dead author does not carry much weight. As usual, Hermine, you are misinformed and completely out-of-date.
Cultivars are of horticultural or agricultural importance (not botanical or taxonomic) because the code governing the naming of cultivars is completely separate from the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and the rules are not the same.
http://www.ishs.org/sci/icraname.htm
http://www.bgbm.org/iapt/nomenclature/code/SaintLouis/0032Ch3Sec6a028.htm

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On Sat, 15 Nov 2003 01:38:16 GMT, hermine stover

WTF Hermine you cry harassment when Steven pokes at you and then you p[oke back.
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On Sat, 15 Nov 2003 19:52:57 -0800, Tom Jaszewski

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
DELIVER me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.
3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
6 I said unto the LORD, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.
9 As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
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opined:

Or, you could just site Buddha and have right speech. Two words. Who is the judge of righteousness? Does inherent existence determine the object? Does inherent existence require an object? Is phenomena a thing, or inherent in and of itself, through it's intangible existence?
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Great now you are going to feign religious fervor!

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"Species" is the Latin name that follows the genus name. It is sometimes followed by a subspecies name or a variant name or both. For example:
Rhododendron calostrotum ssp calostrotum var gigha is a shrub noticeably different from the even tinier Rhododendron calostrotum ssp keleticum
A variant or a subspecies is a naturally-occurring plant, not a cultivar, though clones & cultivated strains are sometimes given names as though they were cultivars even if they're not. The little rhody above named is sometimes called "Gigha" capitalized & in quotes, as though this were a cultivar name, though it is in reality a variant name & not a cultivar -- a variant name is neither capitalized nor in quotes, but by common usage it has become its common name in commerce.
If one followed protocol exactly, names like Rhododendron "Gigha" or Rhododendron "Milestone" would not have these names in quotes, because the quotes indicate a REGISTERED cultivar. "Gigha" being a natural variant, & "Milestone" beng an UNregistered cultivar ought to be given as Gigha or Milestone, or else following the Genus name placed between parentheses, as Rhododendron (Gigha) or Rhododendron (Milestone).
But the niceties of these specifics are rarely followed by us mere gardeners, & really virtually never followed even by retail nurseries. The Hoop petticoat narcissus sold as "Golden Bells" is nearly always placed in quote though this is incorrect; & many are the claims in catalogs that it is an improved cultivar of the botanical daffodil (one catalog claimed it was the culmination of 20 years of hybridization -- it is not). In reality the registrar refused to register it, because it was not distinct from the regular botanical species. So "Golden Bells" is either an illusion trumped up by a Dutch grower in order to sell more bulbs, or at best a selected strain (possibly more floriferous than the species as a whole), & the name of which should be given as Golden Bells or as Narcissus bulbicodium (Golden Bells), but not in quotes.
A common name like Coneflower or Dandylion is also never rightly given in quotes. The majority of true botanical tulips seem to have no common names beyond Wild Tulip or Botanical Tulip, but when there are exceptions, such as for Tulipa kolpakowskiana sometimes called Soltulipen or Sun tulip; or Tulipa clusiana often called Lady tulips or Candlestick tulips, these names would never be in quotes. (I can dream up exceptions, like: My grandmother always called Lady Tulips "Candlestick Tulips." )
Further, Latin names (genus, species, subspecies, variant or forma) are given in Italics, but common names, cultivar names, or named select strains that are not cultivars, are not given in italics. When abbreviations like var. or ssp. are inserted (& they are optional) these should not be in italics, only the Latin part is italics. But again, the specific niceties are ignored by most of us yobs, though important for anyone seeking to be taxonomically precise.
But even people who probably know better don't follow these rules exactly because it can make for a text-presentation that looks like it lacks uniformity, when read by hobbyists rather than taxonomists.Some gardening magazines have their in-house styles that ignore some of the lesser rules for the sake of their own type-design uniformity. When not trying to be a scientist about it, it's okay to ignore the minute details of the protocol. For us amateurs, Latin names are in italics, named varieties whether or not cultivars are in quotes capitalized but not in italics, & common names are neither in quotes nor italics, capitalization optional since taxonomic & registration rules don't address official regulations for common names.
At my website I put in italics any word or phrase or name that is a "hot" link to another page, & this means many exceptions to taxonomic rules when a Latin name followed by cultivar name is a link-term hence entirely in italics (& in a different typeface color to make it totally clear it is a link). About once every two months someone sends me an e-mail because it annoys them that cultivar names sometimes appear in italics. But it annoys even more people that I use ambersands instead of the word "and." All grundiesque complaints are to be ignored.
-paggers
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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A cultivar can be described as a particular variant of a species that is artificially created/encouraged/propagated by man-- further, a cultivar variety would vanish in the wild.
Dave

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