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Cannabaceae: Hemp Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Plants of the Hemp Family

      The plants of the Hemp family may not have much in the way of showy flowers, but the family does claim one of the most recognized plants on earth: marijuana (Cannabis sativa).

      Members of the Hemp family are dioecious, meaning they produce the male and female flowers on separate plants. The male flowers grow in loose racemes or panicles, each flower with 5 sepals, 0 petals and 5 stamens. Female flowers form dense clusters, sometimes hidden by leafy bracts, with 5 sepals and 0 petals. The ovary is positioned superior with 2 united carpels (bicarpellate) forming a single chamber. There are two completely separate styles. One carpel is aborted, so that the ovary matures a single dry seed called an achene. Worldwide, the traditional family includes only 2 genera and 3 to 5 different species. However, genetic evidence suggests that hackberries (Celtis) should be transferred here from the closely related Elm family.

Key Words: Coarse, aromatic plants with palmate or pinnate leaves and no petals.

Please e-mail Thomas J. Elpel to report mistakes or to inquire about purchasing high resolution photos of these plants.

Humulus lupulus. Hops Vine.

Humulus lupulus. Hops Vine. An imported plant that sometimes escapes cultivation.

Cannabis sativa. Marijuana.

Cannabis sativa. Marijuana.

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Hemp Family pictures

Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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