Vegetative propagation is used in horticulture to produce numbers of plants from a single parent plant. This group of plants, or clone , is an extension of the parent plant and therefore all will have the same genetic characteristics. The greatest advantage for horticulturists is to be able to reproduce a cultivar in which all the resulting plants exhibit consistent characteristics. There are some cultivars that can only be reproduced by vegetative means. Seeds produced without fertilization (i.e. by apomixis) found in Alchemilla, Rosaceae, Poaceae and Taraxacum present a special case of natural clonal propagation.
In vegetatively propagated cultivars, changes can occur (see mutations) and differing clonal characteristics within the same cultivar can be distinguished in some species, i.e. ‘sports’ e.g. the leaf colour and plant habit of × Cupressocyparis leylandii.
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