| A cultivar is a cultivated variety of a plant that has been deliberately selected for specific desirable characteristics (such as the colour and form of the flower, yield of the crop, disease resistance etc.). When propagated correctly the plants of a particular cultivar retain their special characteristics.
The naming of cultivars is an important aspect of cultivated plant taxonomy and it must conform to the Rules and Recommendations of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (the ICNCP, commonly known as the Cultivated Plant Code). A cultivar is given a cultivar name, which is a Latin botanical name followed by a cultivar epithet, mostly in a vernacular language. For example, the full cultivar name of the King Edward potato is Solanum tuberosum 'King Edward'. The 'King Edward' part of the name is the cultivar epithet which, according to the Rules of the Cultivated Plant Code, is bounded by single quotation marks.
Cultivars make up a major part of Liberty Hyde Bailey's broader grouping, the cultigen, which is defined as a plant whose origin or selection is primarily due to intentional human activity. The word cultivar was coined by Liberty Hyde Bailey and it is generally regarded as a portmanteau of "cultivated" and "variety", but could also be derived from "cultigen" and "variety".