Learn the difference between what a cultivar and what a variety is in this quick podcast episode.




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three different plant tags from their pots telling what their specific names are.

Example of name differences between cultivars and varieties.

Today’s Topic: 

Cultivar vs Variety – What is the Difference?

In this podcast, you’ll learn the difference between a plant cultivar and a plant variety.

What You’ll Learn:

  • What a plant cultivar and variety are.
  • How to identify a plant as a cultivar or a variety.
  • What a plants name says about it if a cultivar or variety.
  • Resources and links for more information.

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Cultivar vs Variety – What’s the Difference?

Is your plant a cultivar or a variety? It’s important when writing or talking about a specific plant. It also tells a story of that plants origin.

Plants names are thrown around a lot without much thought as to if it is a cultivar or a variety. 

Plant Variety

  • is a naturally found plant that can be reproduced by seed that will have offspring with the same flower color or leaf shape or growing form or other characteristic it is known for. It is also written with a capital first letter in italicized font and sometimes has in lower case letters the abbreviation “var.” preceding the name.
  • an example of a plant variety name is Echinacea purpurea var. Cheyenne Spirit or Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower.

Plant Cultivar

  • is short of cultivated-variety, meaning a plant that when reproduced by seed will not usually have the same flower color of plant that it came from, or other defining characteristic of that specific plant. A cultivar usually is reproduced by cuttings or tissue culture. A cultivar name is also written differently than a variety name it is preceded by no abbreviation and isn’t italicized, but rather it has single quotation marks around it with a capitalized first letter.
  • an example of a plant cultivar name is Osteospermum ‘Blue-eyed Beauty’ or ‘Blue-eyed Beauty’ African Daisy.


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Learn the difference between what a cultivar and what a variety is in this quick podcast episode.