Cannabis sativa L.

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Cannabis sativa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Luwawa Forest Reserve, Viphya, Mzimba

Cannabis sativa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Luwawa Forest Reserve, Viphya, Mzimba

Cannabis sativa

Photo: Bart Wursten
Luwawa Forest Reserve, Viphya, Mzimba

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Cannabis indica Lam.
Common names: Cannabis (English) Hemp (English) Marijuana (English)
Status: Introduced
Aromatic annual herb, up 3 m. Stems branched or not, angular; most parts with minute swollen-based hairs. Leaves palmate-digitate with 3-7 leaflets on a petiole up to 6 cm long; leaflets sessile, narrowly lanceolate, up to 15 cm; margin coarsely toothed or scalloped. Flowers in numerous clusters in the upper leaf axils, greenish-white, unisexual on different plants; male plants usually larger with more flowers and living longer after flowering. Fruit round to ovoid, up to c. 4 × 3.5 mm, often with conspicuous reticulate vein-patterns, when still surrounded by the persistent perianth.
Derivation of specific name: sativa: cultivated, not wild
Habitat: An occasionally naturalized weed, particularly in old cultivation.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Native to Central Asia and widely naturalised in other parts of the world
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Annual.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 20 November 2020

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 31.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 43.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 55. (Includes a picture).

Wilmot-Dear, C.M. (1991). Cannabaceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 11 - 13. (Includes a picture).

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 90.

Other sources of information about Cannabis sativa:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Cannabis sativa
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cannabis sativa
Flora of Mozambique: Cannabis sativa
Flora of Zambia: Cannabis sativa
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cannabis sativa
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Cannabis sativa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cannabis sativa
African Plant Database: Cannabis sativa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cannabis sativa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cannabis sativa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cannabis sativa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Cannabis sativa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cannabis sativa
JSTOR Plant Science: Cannabis sativa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cannabis sativa
Plants of the World Online: Cannabis sativa
Tropicos: Cannabis sativa
Wikipedia: Cannabis sativa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Cannabis sativa., retrieved 25 April 2024

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