I was wondering if there is any difference between the plants created from self-pollinated flowers and plants created from vegetative propagation. Are they both genetically identical to the mother plant?
I also assumed so but why is it that cultivars can only be reproduced through vegetative means? Is it due to fear that pollen from a different individual will get on the anthers? Wouldn't you only need to worry about that if you were growing species which could be cross-pollinated?
For example, if you had a Drosera regia 'big easy' and no other Drosera species, would it be fine to self-pollinate it (assuming you can) and still label the seedlings as the cultivar?
Self-pollinated flowers are not genetically identical to their parents, because the gametes (pollen and the plant equivalent of an egg) can have genetic mutations not shared by the parent plant. while generally few in number, those mutations can affect how a plant looks, thus why cultivars cannot be propagated by self-pollination much of the time.
BTW, drosera regia I think might be one of the drosera species that is incapable of self pollination.
Nothing compares to the joy of growing a plant from seed and watch it prosper.
D. regia is perfectly capable of self pollination, just not in the same flower, since different parts mature on different days. However, I don't recall anyone ever being able to get 'Big Easy' to flower, but there's always that chance. And even if there are no mutations per se in the meiosis process resulting in the pollen and eggs of a flower, recombination still occurs resulting in each seed having a slightly different genetic mixture from the parent. Most of the time is causes some differences, though often, say, in the case of sundews, not enough to make most offspring wildly different from the parents, hence why you can produce D. burmannii 'Pilliga Red' and D. spatulata 'Tamlin' from seed.
Much like in Dog Breeding, or any breeding for that matter, self fertilization brings weak and damaged genes which lie dormant in the parent plant, to the fore in the resulting progeny. Not all the plants will be weak, but a fair number of them will be, and even vigorous plants in this generation, will pass the damaged and weak genes to their progeny in turn if bred with. So this is not a preferred way of plant breeding, but sometimes has its uses. Some plants are unaffected by inbreeding, perhaps because they have fewer damaged genes.