One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant species or variety known only in cultivation, especially one with no known wild ancestor.
- ‘It is unclear which or how many wild species or cultigens were the progenitors of the extant avocado races.’
- ‘These sites had a domesticated plant system incorporating native and introduced cultigens, while the Mill Creek sites also exhibited a dispersed field location pattern.’
- ‘During the next five or even ten years, non-grain cultigens dominated; first root crops and then tree crops were cultivated.’
- ‘The period is characterized by the gradual introduction of maize and other tropical cultigens, gradually transforming the resident hunter-gatherer populations into sedentary agricultural communities.’
- ‘If other factors affecting population size had remained constant, the predictable result would have been population growth wherever these crops replaced less efficient cultigens.’
Early 20th century: from cultivated (past participle of cultivate) + -gen.
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