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CANNABACEAE

HEMP FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, generally dioecious, wind-pollinated; epidermis with hardened hairs, glands, etc.; sap watery
Stem erect or twining
Leaves palmately compound or lobed, petioled; lower generally opposite (upper often less lobed, alternate)
Staminate inflorescence: panicle or spike-like cluster, ± open
Pistillate inflorescence: spike-, cone-, or head-like cluster of often paired flowers, dense
Staminate flower: perianth parts 5, free; stamens 5; pistil 0
Pistillate flower: perianth parts fused into a short, unlobed tube or ring; stamens 0; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovule 1, style 1, very short, stigmas 2, thread-like, plumose
Fruit: achene, generally ± enclosed in persistent perianth
Genera in family: 2 genera, 3 species: n hemisphere; cultivated, economically important
Reference: [Mitchell 1988 NY State Mus Bull 464:17–23]

CANNABIS

HEMP

Annual
Stem erect; hairs unbranched
Leaf generally palmately compound
Staminate inflorescence: panicle- or spike-like cluster, ± open
Pistillate inflorescence: spike-like cluster, erect to spreading, dense
Fruit sometimes ± enclosed in persistent perianth
Species in genus: 1–3 species: native range uncertain
Etymology: (Greek, Latin: hemp)
Reference: [Small & Cronquist 1976 Taxon 25:405–435]

Introduced

C. sativa L.

GRASS, HEMP, MARIJUANA, POT, ETC.


Stem branched, < 4 m; inner bark fibrous
Leaf: leaflets generally 3–7, < 15 cm, narrowly lanceolate, coarsely serrate
Staminate inflorescence > 15 cm
Pistillate inflorescence > 2 cm
Fruit 1–2 mm
Ecology: Disturbed or waste ground
Elevation: probably < 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: possibly native to c Asia, but cultivated since pre-history
Synonyms: C. indica Lam
Highly variable complex. Possession generally illegal due to psychoactive resin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is concentrated in pistillate inflorescences; used legally in medicine; stem fibers used for rope, fabric, paper, etc.

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