Phenotype refers to the characteristics of a plant that are visible. Such characteristics are the color of a plants leaves, density of the trichomes, structure of the flower, thickness of the stems, height of the plant, and the length between nodes. Many different factors influence the phenotype of the plant such as the environment in which the plant is cultivated, provided inputs, and the genotype of a specific cultivar.
Cannabis growers seek out specific phenotypes when they are trying to grow a strain with particular positive attributes and properties. A phenotype can be thought of in the same way for physical characteristics of humans. When you look at a person visibly, you can see their height, eye color, and thickness.
If you look at the different traits that are specific to sativa and indica cannabis, you immediately tell they are different. Sativa is taller, has narrow leaves, whereas indica is shorter and has broad leaves. Phenotype is a word that is used to identify what kind of inherent traits a plant has. Every strain of cannabis will possess two parent plants being a male and a female. The male plant fertilizes the female plant, and the seeds that are generated from that will have phenotypes from each parent.
Growers pick and choose which specific traits they want to pass on to future generations. A plant’s phenotype is one of the most important things that growers will have to take into consideration. Carefully selecting what traits that the grower will want to pass on is a tedious and process that requires much patience.
Use of Term
The strain of cannabis I used last night was a great phenotype. It was a nice shade of green, smelled very potent, had a lot of trichomes, and felt very sticky.