The Green Review

By Chris Zdorovtsov, Horticulture Extension Educator

You may not be thinking horticulture during these cold winter months, but it’s the perfect time of year to learn more about the plant world around you! The Green Review provides information that will help you discover more about growing and caring for plants as well as prepare you for your upcoming horticulture judging contests!

What is the difference between a variety and a cultivar?

clip_image002A plant variety is one that occurs naturally while a cultivar is propagated and grown by a horticulturalist or grower. A variety of Colorado spruce (Picea pungens) for example would be the Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens var glauca). The Colorado blue spruce will grow without human involvement in the propagation. A cultivar example would be ‘October Glory’ red maple that was bred for better fall color. The proper ways to write this name include: Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’; Acer rubrum Cv. October Glory or Acer rubrum Cultivar October Glory with the first version being preferred.

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