Characters.—Flowers dioecious. Males: in racemes or panicles. Calyx herbaceous, scaly, imbricated. Stamens 5, opposite the sepals; filaments filiform; anthers terminal, 2-celled, opening longitudinally. Females: in spikes or cones. Sepal 1, enwrapping the ovary. Ovary free, 1-celled. Ovule solitary, pendulous. Stigmas 2, subulate. Fruit 1-celled, indehiscent. Embryo without albumen, hooked, or spirally coiled, radicle superior, lying against the back of the cotyledon.
Properties.—There are only two species in this family, and each of these will be separately noticed. One of these (Cannabis sativa) is remarkable for the tenacity of its fibre, and the narcotic intoxicating quality of its juices: the other (Humulus Lupulus), for its bitter principle, and its fragrant oil, whose vapor is soporific.
The Elements of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Vol. II, 3th American ed., was written by Jonathan Pereira in 1853.