Part of speech: noun
Origin: American English, 1920s
A plant variety that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding. Cultivars are usually designated in the style Taxus baccata ‘Variegata’.
Examples of Cultivar in a sentence
"The rose garden was organized by sections of different cultivars."
"Most houseplants are cultivars of hardier, outdoor species."
Popularity Over Time
Cultivar originated from a 1920s combination of the existing words “cultivate” (preparation for crops) and “variety” (the state of being different or diverse).
Did you Know?
The word “cultivar” was coined by horticulturalist Liberty Hyde Bailey in 1923. Bailey wanted an abbreviation for the term “cultivated variety” — specific designations of plants that retain similar characteristics even after reproduction. Besides serving as Cornell University’s chair of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening Department (the first of its kind in the country), Bailey was instrumental in creating the 4-H organization.