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Horticultural Plants

Thousands of plant species are available for use in horticulture. Many of these have been domesticated, selectively bred, and hybridized from the original, wild, parent stocks, and are now available in large numbers of cultivated varieties (or cultivars). Consider, for example, the numerous varieties of roses, tulips, geraniums and many other common horticultural plants that can be obtained from commercial outlets.

In most places, almost all of the horticultural plants that are widely grown in parks and gardens are not indigenous to the region (that is, their natural habitats are far away, usually on another continent). This widespread cultivation of non-native plants has resulted in some important ecological problems, caused when the horticultural species "escape" to the wild and displace native plants. Because of this kind of severe ecological damage, many environmentalists are advocating the cultivation of native species of plants in horticulture. If this sensible "naturalization" is practiced, there are fewer problems with invasive aliens, and much better habitat is provided for native species of animals. This means that horticulture can achieve important ecological benefits, in addition to the aesthetic ones.



Bennett, Jennifer. Our Gardens Ourselves. Ontario, Canada: Camden House, Camden East, 1994.

Jackson, Ron S. Wine Science: Principles and Applications. San Diego: Academic Press, 1994.

Jones, Hamlyn G. Plants and Microclimate. 2nd ed. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Larson, Roy A., and Allan M. Armitage. Introduction to Flori-culture. San Diego: Academic Press, 1992.

Rice, Laura Williams, and Robert P. Rice. Practical Horticulture. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1986.

Smith, Geoffrey. A Passion for Plants. North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Publishing, 1990.

Vita Richman


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—The application of agricultural science to the production of plant and animal crops, and the management of soil fertility.


—The cultivation of flowers.


—The synthesis of carbohydrates by green plants, which takes place in the presence of light.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Heterodyne to Hydrazoic acidHorticulture - Plant needs, Horticultural plants