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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).

nbsp;     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. This is a small family with only two genera and a total of 3 to 5 different species worldwide. The Hemp Family is sometimes included with the Mulberry family.

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

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

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