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  • Nguồn: [Ebook Việt Hoá] Plant parenting: E easy ways to make more houseplants, vegetables, and flowers – LESLIE F. HALLECK (Nhân giống cây: Những cách dễ nhất để nhân giống cây cảnh trong nhà, rau và hoa) 
  • Biên tập: Dũng Cá Xinh (Tháng 08/20201)
  • Dịch: Team Codai.net 

English

Along with understanding how plants multiply, it’s useful to understand how plants are named and categorized so you use the right propagation method. While you don’t need to be an expert on this subject to make more plants, understanding a few botanical terms related to propagation will prove helpful—especially if you plan to collect and save your own seed. Varieties, open-pollinated cultivars, hybrids, heirlooms, and GMO/GE plants are all types you may grow at some point and terms you’ll see printed on seed packets or plant tags. These terms are often used incorrectly and interchangeably, which can be a source of major confusion for home gardeners. So, let’s break them down. 

Dendrobium ×hybrida ‘Precious Pearl’ orchid is a hybridized cultivar that pro- duces a profusion of stunning flow
Dendrobium × hybrida ‘Precious Pearl’ orchid is a hybridized cultivar that pro- duces a profusion of stunning flow

SPECIES AND COMMON NAMES 

A plant species is a group of plants in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring. Plants are given a binomial species name that includes a genus and a specific epithet. Common names are the names we make up for plants, so we can refer to them without knowing the species name. For example, Pilea peperomioides is the species name for a popular houseplant native to southern China, which is known by the common name Chinese money plant. Sometimes the common name for a plant is simply the genus. Know that common names vary widely depending on where you live—so most plants can have several different common names. Sansevieria spp., for example, are often called snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue, and snake’s tongue. 

VARIETIES 

A variety of a plant species is one that may show slight differences in physical characteristics from the original plant species and can occur naturally in the wild— with or without human aid. Varieties can result from natural mutations because of differing environmental conditions, or from a seedling that arises from naturally occurring cross-pollination within the same species. Varieties of a species may have variegated foliage, a slightly different flower color, size, or other such physical difference, but it is not significant enough to classify the variety as a new species. People can sometimes spot and select a naturally occurring variety and sell it commercially with a given variety name. 

You’ll see varieties noted with the designation “var.” within a species name. For example: the species name of heartleaf philodendron, a popular vining house- plant, is Philodendron hederaceum. A naturally occurring variety of this plant is P. hederaceum var. oxycardium, which has glossier leaves than the original species. 

HYBRIDS AND CULTIVARS 

Hybridizing involves an exchange of pollen from two different varieties of a plant species, or closely related species within the same genus, each having desirable characteristics. The hybrid that grows from the seed that resulted from that pairing will exhibit a mix of characteristics from both parent plants. While hybridization occurs all the time in nature – by wind, animals, and pollinators carrying pollen between plants—the type of crosses made by people generally have a much lower probability of occurring in the wild. When humans intentionally make such a hybrid by manually cross-pollinating two plants, we call the result a hybrid cultivar. You’ll see hybrids designated by a cultivar name, noted in single quote marks, such as Gomphrena ×hybrida ‘Pink Zazzle’. 

The first generation from such a human-made plant cross is called the F1 generation. F1 hybrids are typically the most vigorous and display the best characteristics, such as bigger fruit or better disease resistance. However, if you collect seeds from an F1 hybrid they won’t come true to type; meaning they can express a variety of different characteristics from the parent plants, so you never quite know what you’re going to get. 

To recreate an F1 hybrid, you must re-cross the original two parent varieties to create the same F1 hybrid, propagate the hybrid cultivar vegetatively, or grow it from tissue culture in a lab. Therefore, F1 hybrid cultivars typically cost more to purchase than species or varieties. 

Some cultivars originate as result of a natural mutation, also called a “sport,” of a plant variety. These cultivars made it into the marketplace because they were selected by a person and reproduced under a specifically marketed cultivar name. These plants are called selected cultivars. Remember the heart- leaf philodendron I mentioned previously? Someone growing Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium lucked into a sport of the variety that had interesting chartreuse variegation on the foliage. That person then selected the variegated beauty, propagated it vegeta- tively, and patented it under the cultivar name ‘Brasil’. So, the name on the plant tag for the hybrid would read Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium ‘Brasil’. 

Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum), is a popular species of houseplant. 
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum), is a popular species of houseplant.
There are about seventy different species of snake plant (Sansevieria spp.) and countless varieties and cultivars. 
There are about seventy different species of snake plant (Sansevieria spp.) and countless varieties and cultivars.
A chartreuse-leaved variety of heartleaf philodendron named Philodendron hederaceum var. aureum. You’ll sometimes see it called ‘Lemon Lime’ or ‘Neon’. 
A chartreuse-leaved variety of heartleaf philodendron named Philodendron hederaceum var. aureum. You’ll sometimes see it called ‘Lemon Lime’ or ‘Neon’.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’.
This tiny viola seedling that seeded itself into the cracks in my driveway was produced from a dark blue viola hybrid cultivar that I planted in my garden. This baby viola plant has a different growth habit and a lighter flower color than its F1 hybrid parent. 
This tiny viola seedling that seeded itself into the cracks in my driveway was produced from a dark blue viola hybrid cultivar that I planted in my garden. This baby viola plant has a different growth habit and a lighter flower color than its F1 hybrid parent.
When you buy this cultivar of philodendron, you should see the patented cultivar name ‘Brasil’ on the tag. 
When you buy this cultivar of philodendron, you should see the patented cultivar name ‘Brasil’ on the tag.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’. 
The only way to reliably reproduce the same cultivar of cannabis is to take vegetative cuttings. If you collect and start seed from these plants, you’ll end up with a wide variety of characteristics in your seedlings.

BRANDED PLANT NAMES 

Be aware there are also trade names for plant cultivars for marketing purposes. If a company that is going to distribute and sell a certain plant cultivar doesn’t like the assigned cultivar name, it may create a new brand name that better fits the marketing strategy. Ever heard of the popular Peace rose? You may have seen tags that list the plant as Rosa ‘Peace’—but that would be incorrect. ‘Peace’ is not the real cultivar name—it’s just a trade brand name used for marketing purposes. The real cultivar name for hybrid Peace rose is ‘Madame A. Meilland’. While trade names are helpful for increasing plant brand exposure, they can make things more difficult for consumers and enthusiasts when it comes to searching for the right plant. 

OPEN-POLLINATED PLANTS 

Seed produced from naturally occurring flowering plant species or varieties is true to type, meaning that you’ll get roughly the same characteristics from seeds collected and grown from the original variety as you will with varieties that are typically open-pollinated. An open-pollinated variety can self-pollinate or be pollinated by another specimen of the same variety and produce essentially the same variety from seed. Depending on the plant, you can also vegetatively reproduce (clone) the variety to make sure you keep the same characteristics and benefits expressed by the variety. 

If you want to collect and store your own seed from plants that you are growing—and grow approximately the same plant from which you saved the seed—you can only do so with open-pollinated plants. If you choose to save and sow seed from hybrid plants, you’ll end up growing seedlings that show a variety of different characteristics, which is a fun way to experiment and to breed new plants. If a given selected cultivar also happens to be open-pollinated, then it’s possible for you to collect true-to-type seed from such a cultivar. 

One word of caution: open-pollinated doesn’t mean isolated pollination. Open-pollinated plants can still cross-pollinate with other closely related varieties if they are grown too close together, especially if they have incomplete flowers, or male and female flowers on separate plants (which means pollen must travel). Plant two different open-pollinated varieties of cucumber in the same backyard and they can cross-pollinate. The fruit they bear, plus the seeds you save, won’t necessarily be uniform. If pollen can move from plant to plant via insects, wind, or air moved by fans, then there is potential for cross-pollination. If you can, group the same variety of open-pollinated plants close together or stick to self-pollinating plants (with perfect flowers) if you want to save seed. 

HEIRLOOMS 

To be designated an heirloom, a plant must be open-pollinated and have been in human cultivation for at least fifty years. Because heirlooms produce seed that grows true to type, these plants have been saved and passed down from generation to generation. You can reliably collect and save seed from your heirloom plant types, and be confident you’ll grow the very same plant, with the same characteristics, from those seeds the next season. 

Some gardeners prefer a plant variety be in cultivation for closer to 100 years to be considered
a true heirloom. Therefore, younger heirlooms may be referred to as modern heirlooms. ‘Green Zebra’ tomato is a good example of a modern heirloom (and a selected cultivar). 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED PLANTS 

While often used interchangeably (erroneously in my view), the word hybrid is not synonymous with
the term GMO (genetically modified organism) or the more accurate term GE (genetically engineered). Genetic engineering of plants involves altering a gene or multiple genes to create an abnormal trait. Genetic engineering can also involve introducing genes from a completely different organism, such as a bacterium, into the plant. Altering genes changes the biochemistry of the plant with the intent of getting it to do, produce, or resist something it naturally would not. So, when a plant or seed is labeled as a GMO or GE plant, that means its genes have been altered. A scientist could take a hybrid plant and genetically engineer it . . . but that does not mean all hybrids are GE or GMO. When people mistakenly equate hybrid seeds and plants with GMO/GE seeds and plants, it can cause unnecessary fear about growing many hybrid plants. 

While the technical rules of botanical nomenclature are much more nuanced and complicated than I’ve described here, these basic definitions will help you make better choices about the plants you purchase and how you collect and save seed for your future edible crops and plant collections. 

When you grow heirloom varieties of artichoke, you can let some of the flower heads bloom and go to seed instead of harvesting them to eat. Save the seed to start the next season. Plus, the flowers are beautiful! 
When you grow heirloom varieties of artichoke, you can let some of the flower heads bloom and go to seed instead of harvesting them to eat. Save the seed to start the next season. Plus, the flowers are beautiful!

Legalities of Propagation 

It might surprise you to learn that many plant cultivars are patented. Just like with photography, writing, art, or inventions, the concept of intellectual property also exists within the plant breeding world. It is illegal for you as a home gardener, or anyone in the trade, to propagate (either by seed or vegetative cuttings) and give away or sell plants that are protected by an active patent or have a patent pending—unless you are a grower with a license to grow and sell the variety or cultivar. The plant label you purchase with your original plant will display either a current patent number or the acronym PPAF, which stands for “Plant Patent Applied For.” 

As a home gardener, you are legally allowed to propagate patented plants purely for your own personal use. If the plant variety or cultivar you’re collecting seed from or taking cuttings from has no active patent, then it is fair game for anyone to propagate, sell, or give away. 

Propagating and selling patented plants for your yard sale or school fundraiser is a no-no. Make sure you are only propagating and gifting non-patented plants. Selling plants out of your home or online also typically requires special nursery licenses and property and plant inspections. Be sure to do your research first before you start selling or giving away plants you’ve propagated in your home and garden. Without all the hard work plant breeders put into their craft, we wouldn’t have so many amazing plant varieties! 

‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes are a reliable open-pollinated selected cultivar, and modern heirloom, with sweet green fruit. I can save seeds from season to season. 
‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes are a reliable open-pollinated selected cultivar, and modern heirloom, with sweet green fruit. I can save seeds from season to season.
Several professional plant companies sell the hybrid rhizomatous begonia cultivar ‘Phoe’s Cleo’, but it is not currently patented. That means you are allowed to both propagate and distribute it freely. 
Several professional plant companies sell the hybrid rhizomatous begonia cultivar ‘Phoe’s Cleo’, but it is not currently patented. That means you are allowed to both propagate and distribute it freely.

Tiếng Việt

Along with understanding how plants multiply, it’s useful to understand how plants are named and categorized so you use the right propagation method. While you don’t need to be an expert on this subject to make more plants, understanding a few botanical terms related to propagation will prove helpful—especially if you plan to collect and save your own seed. Varieties, open-pollinated cultivars, hybrids, heirlooms, and GMO/GE plants are all types you may grow at some point and terms you’ll see printed on seed packets or plant tags. These terms are often used incorrectly and interchangeably, which can be a source of major confusion for home gardeners. So, let’s break them down. 

Dendrobium ×hybrida ‘Precious Pearl’ orchid is a hybridized cultivar that pro- duces a profusion of stunning flow
Dendrobium × hybrida ‘Precious Pearl’ orchid is a hybridized cultivar that pro- duces a profusion of stunning flow

SPECIES AND COMMON NAMES 

A plant species is a group of plants in which two individuals can produce fertile offspring. Plants are given a binomial species name that includes a genus and a specific epithet. Common names are the names we make up for plants, so we can refer to them without knowing the species name. For example, Pilea peperomioides is the species name for a popular houseplant native to southern China, which is known by the common name Chinese money plant. Sometimes the common name for a plant is simply the genus. Know that common names vary widely depending on where you live—so most plants can have several different common names. Sansevieria spp., for example, are often called snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue, and snake’s tongue. 

VARIETIES 

A variety of a plant species is one that may show slight differences in physical characteristics from the original plant species and can occur naturally in the wild— with or without human aid. Varieties can result from natural mutations because of differing environmental conditions, or from a seedling that arises from naturally occurring cross-pollination within the same species. Varieties of a species may have variegated foliage, a slightly different flower color, size, or other such physical difference, but it is not significant enough to classify the variety as a new species. People can sometimes spot and select a naturally occurring variety and sell it commercially with a given variety name. 

You’ll see varieties noted with the designation “var.” within a species name. For example: the species name of heartleaf philodendron, a popular vining house- plant, is Philodendron hederaceum. A naturally occurring variety of this plant is P. hederaceum var. oxycardium, which has glossier leaves than the original species. 

HYBRIDS AND CULTIVARS 

Hybridizing involves an exchange of pollen from two different varieties of a plant species, or closely related species within the same genus, each having desirable characteristics. The hybrid that grows from the seed that resulted from that pairing will exhibit a mix of characteristics from both parent plants. While hybridization occurs all the time in nature – by wind, animals, and pollinators carrying pollen between plants—the type of crosses made by people generally have a much lower probability of occurring in the wild. When humans intentionally make such a hybrid by manually cross-pollinating two plants, we call the result a hybrid cultivar. You’ll see hybrids designated by a cultivar name, noted in single quote marks, such as Gomphrena ×hybrida ‘Pink Zazzle’. 

The first generation from such a human-made plant cross is called the F1 generation. F1 hybrids are typically the most vigorous and display the best characteristics, such as bigger fruit or better disease resistance. However, if you collect seeds from an F1 hybrid they won’t come true to type; meaning they can express a variety of different characteristics from the parent plants, so you never quite know what you’re going to get. 

To recreate an F1 hybrid, you must re-cross the original two parent varieties to create the same F1 hybrid, propagate the hybrid cultivar vegetatively, or grow it from tissue culture in a lab. Therefore, F1 hybrid cultivars typically cost more to purchase than species or varieties. 

Some cultivars originate as result of a natural mutation, also called a “sport,” of a plant variety. These cultivars made it into the marketplace because they were selected by a person and reproduced under a specifically marketed cultivar name. These plants are called selected cultivars. Remember the heart- leaf philodendron I mentioned previously? Someone growing Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium lucked into a sport of the variety that had interesting chartreuse variegation on the foliage. That person then selected the variegated beauty, propagated it vegeta- tively, and patented it under the cultivar name ‘Brasil’. So, the name on the plant tag for the hybrid would read Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium ‘Brasil’. 

Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum), is a popular species of houseplant. 
Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum), is a popular species of houseplant.
There are about seventy different species of snake plant (Sansevieria spp.) and countless varieties and cultivars. 
There are about seventy different species of snake plant (Sansevieria spp.) and countless varieties and cultivars.
A chartreuse-leaved variety of heartleaf philodendron named Philodendron hederaceum var. aureum. You’ll sometimes see it called ‘Lemon Lime’ or ‘Neon’. 
A chartreuse-leaved variety of heartleaf philodendron named Philodendron hederaceum var. aureum. You’ll sometimes see it called ‘Lemon Lime’ or ‘Neon’.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’.
This tiny viola seedling that seeded itself into the cracks in my driveway was produced from a dark blue viola hybrid cultivar that I planted in my garden. This baby viola plant has a different growth habit and a lighter flower color than its F1 hybrid parent. 
This tiny viola seedling that seeded itself into the cracks in my driveway was produced from a dark blue viola hybrid cultivar that I planted in my garden. This baby viola plant has a different growth habit and a lighter flower color than its F1 hybrid parent.
When you buy this cultivar of philodendron, you should see the patented cultivar name ‘Brasil’ on the tag. 
When you buy this cultivar of philodendron, you should see the patented cultivar name ‘Brasil’ on the tag.
Species of gomphrena (globe amaranth) typically produce smaller flowers than this hybridized gomphrena with the cultivar name ‘Pink Zazzle’. 
The only way to reliably reproduce the same cultivar of cannabis is to take vegetative cuttings. If you collect and start seed from these plants, you’ll end up with a wide variety of characteristics in your seedlings.

BRANDED PLANT NAMES 

Be aware there are also trade names for plant cultivars for marketing purposes. If a company that is going to distribute and sell a certain plant cultivar doesn’t like the assigned cultivar name, it may create a new brand name that better fits the marketing strategy. Ever heard of the popular Peace rose? You may have seen tags that list the plant as Rosa ‘Peace’—but that would be incorrect. ‘Peace’ is not the real cultivar name—it’s just a trade brand name used for marketing purposes. The real cultivar name for hybrid Peace rose is ‘Madame A. Meilland’. While trade names are helpful for increasing plant brand exposure, they can make things more difficult for consumers and enthusiasts when it comes to searching for the right plant. 

OPEN-POLLINATED PLANTS 

Seed produced from naturally occurring flowering plant species or varieties is true to type, meaning that you’ll get roughly the same characteristics from seeds collected and grown from the original variety as you will with varieties that are typically open-pollinated. An open-pollinated variety can self-pollinate or be pollinated by another specimen of the same variety and produce essentially the same variety from seed. Depending on the plant, you can also vegetatively reproduce (clone) the variety to make sure you keep the same characteristics and benefits expressed by the variety. 

If you want to collect and store your own seed from plants that you are growing—and grow approximately the same plant from which you saved the seed—you can only do so with open-pollinated plants. If you choose to save and sow seed from hybrid plants, you’ll end up growing seedlings that show a variety of different characteristics, which is a fun way to experiment and to breed new plants. If a given selected cultivar also happens to be open-pollinated, then it’s possible for you to collect true-to-type seed from such a cultivar. 

One word of caution: open-pollinated doesn’t mean isolated pollination. Open-pollinated plants can still cross-pollinate with other closely related varieties if they are grown too close together, especially if they have incomplete flowers, or male and female flowers on separate plants (which means pollen must travel). Plant two different open-pollinated varieties of cucumber in the same backyard and they can cross-pollinate. The fruit they bear, plus the seeds you save, won’t necessarily be uniform. If pollen can move from plant to plant via insects, wind, or air moved by fans, then there is potential for cross-pollination. If you can, group the same variety of open-pollinated plants close together or stick to self-pollinating plants (with perfect flowers) if you want to save seed. 

HEIRLOOMS 

To be designated an heirloom, a plant must be open-pollinated and have been in human cultivation for at least fifty years. Because heirlooms produce seed that grows true to type, these plants have been saved and passed down from generation to generation. You can reliably collect and save seed from your heirloom plant types, and be confident you’ll grow the very same plant, with the same characteristics, from those seeds the next season. 

Some gardeners prefer a plant variety be in cultivation for closer to 100 years to be considered
a true heirloom. Therefore, younger heirlooms may be referred to as modern heirlooms. ‘Green Zebra’ tomato is a good example of a modern heirloom (and a selected cultivar). 

GENETICALLY MODIFIED PLANTS 

While often used interchangeably (erroneously in my view), the word hybrid is not synonymous with
the term GMO (genetically modified organism) or the more accurate term GE (genetically engineered). Genetic engineering of plants involves altering a gene or multiple genes to create an abnormal trait. Genetic engineering can also involve introducing genes from a completely different organism, such as a bacterium, into the plant. Altering genes changes the biochemistry of the plant with the intent of getting it to do, produce, or resist something it naturally would not. So, when a plant or seed is labeled as a GMO or GE plant, that means its genes have been altered. A scientist could take a hybrid plant and genetically engineer it . . . but that does not mean all hybrids are GE or GMO. When people mistakenly equate hybrid seeds and plants with GMO/GE seeds and plants, it can cause unnecessary fear about growing many hybrid plants. 

While the technical rules of botanical nomenclature are much more nuanced and complicated than I’ve described here, these basic definitions will help you make better choices about the plants you purchase and how you collect and save seed for your future edible crops and plant collections. 

When you grow heirloom varieties of artichoke, you can let some of the flower heads bloom and go to seed instead of harvesting them to eat. Save the seed to start the next season. Plus, the flowers are beautiful! 
When you grow heirloom varieties of artichoke, you can let some of the flower heads bloom and go to seed instead of harvesting them to eat. Save the seed to start the next season. Plus, the flowers are beautiful!

Legalities of Propagation 

It might surprise you to learn that many plant cultivars are patented. Just like with photography, writing, art, or inventions, the concept of intellectual property also exists within the plant breeding world. It is illegal for you as a home gardener, or anyone in the trade, to propagate (either by seed or vegetative cuttings) and give away or sell plants that are protected by an active patent or have a patent pending—unless you are a grower with a license to grow and sell the variety or cultivar. The plant label you purchase with your original plant will display either a current patent number or the acronym PPAF, which stands for “Plant Patent Applied For.” 

As a home gardener, you are legally allowed to propagate patented plants purely for your own personal use. If the plant variety or cultivar you’re collecting seed from or taking cuttings from has no active patent, then it is fair game for anyone to propagate, sell, or give away. 

Propagating and selling patented plants for your yard sale or school fundraiser is a no-no. Make sure you are only propagating and gifting non-patented plants. Selling plants out of your home or online also typically requires special nursery licenses and property and plant inspections. Be sure to do your research first before you start selling or giving away plants you’ve propagated in your home and garden. Without all the hard work plant breeders put into their craft, we wouldn’t have so many amazing plant varieties! 

‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes are a reliable open-pollinated selected cultivar, and modern heirloom, with sweet green fruit. I can save seeds from season to season. 
‘Green Zebra’ tomatoes are a reliable open-pollinated selected cultivar, and modern heirloom, with sweet green fruit. I can save seeds from season to season.
Several professional plant companies sell the hybrid rhizomatous begonia cultivar ‘Phoe’s Cleo’, but it is not currently patented. That means you are allowed to both propagate and distribute it freely. 
Several professional plant companies sell the hybrid rhizomatous begonia cultivar ‘Phoe’s Cleo’, but it is not currently patented. That means you are allowed to both propagate and distribute it freely.

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