Cannabis sativa L.

hemp

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

With a history of association with humans going back some 10,000 years, few plants come with more cultural baggage today than hemp. Probably native to Central Asia, humans have mainly used hemp for its fibers. In fact, until the early eighteenth century, hemp was the most important source of fiber in North America. Its use as a mild hallucinogen was of little economic importance until recent times. It is hard to estimate how many plants are illegally cultivated in North America, but law enforcement agencies harvest and destroy tens to hundreds of millions of cultivated and ruderal or escaped plants each year. Today, oil produced from hemp seeds is another significant product, and the fiber, seeds and oil are in turn made into a wide range of other products, including cosmetics, plastics and textiles.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), forests

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Flower petal color
NA
Leaf type
  • the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
  • the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
  • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
  • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower symmetry
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Fusion of sepals and petals
NA
Stamen number
  • 5
  • NA
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Fruit length
1–5 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Anther spurs
    the anthers do not have spurs on them
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla morphology
    NA
    Corolla palate
    NA
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Flower description
    • NA
    • the flower has a superior ovary, and lacks a hypanthium
    Flower petal color
    NA
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    • NA
    • the style is unbranched, but it has two or more narrow appendages that are part of the stigma
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    NA
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower does not have a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of pistils
    • 1
    • NA
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes only one cycle of petals or sepals
    Petal and sepal colors
    green to brown
    Petal appearance
    NA
    Petal folds or pleats
    NA
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal tip shape
    NA
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Reproductive system
    all the flowers on each plant have only carpels or only stamens, with only one type being present on each plant (dioecious)
    Scales inside corolla
    NA
    Sepal and petal color
    NA
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Stamen attachment
    • NA
    • the stamens are not attached to the petals or tepals
    Stamen number
    • 5
    • NA
    Stamen position relative to petals
    • NA
    • the stamens are lined up with the sepals
    Staminodes
    there are no staminodes on the flower
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    the fruit is an achene (dry, indehiscent, and usually one-seeded)
    Berry color
    NA
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Capsule splitting
    NA
    Fruit (pyxis) dehiscence
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit length
    1–5 mm
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is an achene (dry, usually one-seeded, does not separate or split open at maturity)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    NA
    Ovary stipe
    the ovary or fruit does not have a stipe
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has apical placentation, where one or a few ovules develop at the top of a simple or compound ovary
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Horizontal rooting stem
    the plant does not have stolons
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length (compound lvs only)
    30–150 mm
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    • alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    • opposite: there are two leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade edges
    the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is lanceolate (lance-shaped; widest below the middle and tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf type
    • the leaves are compound (made up of two or more discrete leaflets
    • the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaves per node
    • there are two leaves per node along the stem
    • there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Pinnately compound leaf type
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf has lobes that radiate from the base, somewhat like a hand
    • the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipels
    NA
    Stipule features
    NA
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • forests
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    • the plant has a pleasant smell, for example anise, fruit, mint or resin
    • the plant has an unpleasant smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    NA
    Hairs between stem nodes
    the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Hooked hairs on stem between nodes
    no
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Plant height
    20–300 cm
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant does not have tendrils

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

ssp. sativa

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. sativa

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

var. spontanea

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Synonyms

  • Cannabis sativa L. ssp. indica (Lam.) E. Small & Cronq.

Family

Cannabaceae

Genus

Cannabis

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Cannabis sativa L. E

hemp. Cannabis sativa L.  ssp. indica (Lam.) E. Small & Cronq. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT. Roadsides, barn yards, waste areas, frequently planted in forest clearings.