Are cultivars considered native? What about hybrids?
Posted by: JMLehrer z6-7 NY/CT on Sun, Aug 18, 02 A hybrid species occurs when two species from the same genus cross (there are also rare intergeneric hybrids). As an example cross something like Hamamelis mollis and H. japonicum to get H. x intermedia, or Pardanthopsis and Belamcanda to get x Pardancanda. A cultivar is simply a plant selection isolated and perpetuated in cultivation by humans due to the plants superior characteristics (example: Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'). It should be noted that hybrids may be created artificially (Taxus x media), but many also occur NATURALLY in the wild where the ranges of two closely related species overlap (Dryopteris x australis). Cultivars may be produced through focused plant breeding OR through a sharp eye that spots unique plants growing in the wild. Plants that fit into the latter category may be called "native", those in the former group are of "garden origin". Again, the question of nativity is a personal issue -- some folks would scoff at the idea of including Cosmos in a New Jersey garden of native plants. Mexico and New Jersey may be contiguous, but they are worlds apart.
Posted by: Elaine_NJ6 on Sun, Aug 18, You are always best off planting a SPECIES that is native to your area. A named cultivar of a native species is the next-best choice. I would not knowingly plant a man-made hybrid or nonnative plant (meaning a plant that did not grow in this part of NJ about 300 years ago).
Although plants hybridize freely in nature, that's nature, and those plants can take care of themselves (or not--nature has many failed experiments). We should not be producing hybrids or purposely growing them. For just one reason, they are frequently sterile (Coreopsis "Moonbeam" is indeed sterile), so if you're growing plants because you expect their fruit or nectar to attract wildlife, hybrids will not do it. Growing such plants will not help restore the balance of nature, and I think that our gardening should do just that.
Posted by: Apcohrs z5 IL (My Page) on Sun, Aug 18, 02. In some cases, a named cultivar may be 'superior' to the unselected species: a named cultivar will never have been pillaged from the wild, but rather will have been nursery propagated.
Just a note: hybridization rarely results in sterility. Sterility is more often a result of dioicious flowered plants missing a mate or from self-sterile plants - both are conditions imposed by Ma Nature.
Now DOUBLE flowered cultivars and/or hybrids MAY be (but are not always) sterile due to the fertile portions of the flower being expressed as extra petals. (This phenomenon occurs spontaneously - the result is then propagated vegetatively. You certainly cannot breed for double flowers from sterile double parents.)
* Posted by: bruceNH z5NH on Mon, Aug 19. Everyone should note that you can have a hybrid cultivar from crossing two genetically different plants or two inbred lines. These hybrid cultivars can show hybrid vigor but will not...