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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Cannabaceae (hemp, dagga, hop family)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Rosales

Eleven genera and 170 species, found in most regions of the world. Two genera and five species are native to southern Africa, Cannabis sativa (hemp, dagga) is naturalised in the region, and two species of Humulus (Hop) are cultivated in the region, including Humulus lupulus (Hop), which is used in beer making.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).


About 60 species, distributed worldwide in tropical and temperate regions; four species are native to southern Africa and a further four species are cultivated in the region.


About 15 species, in the Old and New World tropics and subtropics. One species, Trema orientalis (Pigeonwood), is native to southern Africa.

Genera naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Cannabis sativa (hemp, dagga)

Naturalised in southern Africa and cultivated widely but illegally. Probably originally native to Asia. There is considerable variation within this species in terms of growth form and chemical content. Some authors have split it into three species while others have kept it as one species with 3-4 infraspecific taxa.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002).


Three species, native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Two species are cultivated in southern Africa: Humulus japonicus (Japanese hop), and Humulus lupulus (Hop). Hop is cultivated for the female cone-like inflorescences (clusters of flowers), which are termed hops and are used for flavouring, stabilising and preserving beer.