Anybody have any views on the wisdom of planting cultivars of native plants in supposedly 'natural' areas? Think carefully - there are hidden issues here!
In ecological restoration we try to use seed that has been collected as near the original site as possible. Often we limit the material to collections from with 15, 25, or if necessary 75 miles from a site. There are some sound reasons for this policy.
A good example locally is prairie grass. Prairie grasses are much more common in Nebraska than in Illinois. Nebraska prairies continue to be used as grazing lands, where as Illinois prairies have nearly been completely converted to corn. When people started restoring prairies they purchased grass seed from Nebraska for restorations in Illinois. What they soon discovered was the grasses from Nebraska were considerably different from the same species in Illinois. I have even been told they bloom at different times. Some people noticed the Nebraska variety was soon over taken by the better adapted native variety. In Iowa, the Nebraska variety was actually able to out compete the native variety. This can cause problems.
Here is an example. When doing restoration a native willow sp. was planted to stabilize a stream bank. Very observant ecologists noticed that insects which ate this willow species in adjacent areas where not consuming the planted variety.
The point is, local interactions have developed that are very important. Material introduced from distant sources often will be out compete by better adapted local varieties. In other situation the introduced material will have an advantage since local herbivores, predators, and parasites will not eat it. This can cause an introduced variety of a native species to act in an invasive manner.
In summary, no I would not plant cultivars in a remnant natural community. However, it should pose no problem if planted in a pot in my backyard.