From the type of replies you have gotten, it is clear that most have a
rather distorted or incorrect view of what a cultivar actually represents.
A cultivar is a plant selected for its horticultural or agricultural merit
and is a plant that is given a fancy name instead of a botanical ranking. It
differs from a botanical species (or any other botanical ranking) by not
being at all representative of a wild population of plants and is often
atypical in some way of the the usual range of variation found in a
particular plant. It can be derived from a mutation grown from seed, a
hybrid or even selected from plants growing in the wild. They do not need to
be man made crosses.
Many cultivars are propagated vegetatively from division or grafting because
most do not breed true from seed. The mode of propagation does not determine
what is a cultivar, however.
Cultivars are not produced from grafting. You are confusing them with
chimeras. Many chimeras are grown as cultivars, however.
For a more info on cultivars and their naming, see the following:
The above answers are all correct, in their own way, but many are so
academic that if you are any the wiser then you did not really
need to ask the question!!
More simply [I hope]~~ Take an apple such as Golden Delicious which is,
as are all apples, of the species 'sylvestris' ie, Malus sylvestris. The
Golden Delicious is thus a cultivar/ variety of apples and can only be
propagated by grafting or budding to retain the genetical makeup. Sow the
seeds from the apple and all the seedlings will differ but will still be M.
sylvestris~~but not Golden Delicious. With luck [similar to winning the
lottery] one of these might be worth propagating [asexually] and would then
be a new cultivar which you could name!!
I hope this helped. As a matter of interest [or not] the above apple,
grown locally, is well named other than it is neither golden nor delicious!!
I have however seen it growing in other climates where it well lived up to
Two organisms are of the same species if they can sexually produce
offspring which are themselves capable of similar reproduction. Every
sexually produced offspring will differ to some extent [as do people] but
will be of the same species. To confuse the issue~ 'identical twins' are
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