September 24, 2021 at 4:55 pm #36162Max MontroseModerator
Inflorescence is defined as the complete flower head of a plant including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers. Simply put, inflorescence is the arrangement of the flowers on a plant. With cannabis, what is often referred to as the cola, bud, or flower, is actually the inflorescence. Cannabis inflorescences are composed of dozens or even hundreds of individual flowers, or florets, which are usually described as the calyx. However, the truth of the matter is that for decades, what has been called the calyx, is actually the entire flower. The largest visible part of the flower is the bract with two pistils extending from the top, which encloses the entire calyx and reproductive anatomy. Technically, you cannot see the calyx since it is completely covered by the bract.
Not only have we told you that strain names don’t matter, what you call sativa is really indica, hemp is actually sativa, and marijuana is a beautiful word that should be celebrated for its clever history; now you’re being told that what we’ve called the calyx is really the entire flower, the calyx is truly the bract, and the cola, bud, or flower is the inflorescence. At this point we had to make a decision on whether we at- tempt to completely change every single way people discuss cannabis, or confidently settle for a hybridized way to be technical, yet digestible in today’s industry.
Throughout this book and within our live courses, website, and social media, you will read and hear us describe what is technically the inflorescence of cannabis, as either the inflorescence, cola, bud, or flower. When we are specifically distinguishing the difference between the inflorescence, flower, bracts, and other anatomy, we will use the technical terms, but overall, flower will be used to describe what truly are many flowers combined into a bud or cola.
When our Interpeners are judging a cannabis cup and someone says, “we have a winning flower here”, no one is going to stand up to correct them and say, “excuse me, that’s actually the inflorescence”. Is what you break apart and put into your grinder to roll a joint, technically the inflorescence, that consists of many individual flowers of which the majority of what is visible is the bract that encompasses the calyx with two pistils extending from the top? Yes, but for the sake of finding a balance in how we talk about this plant without having our noses up in the air, we’re cool with calling that beautiful, sticky, sweet smelling cluster of flowers, just the flower.
To put this into perspective, think about the last time you really evaluated a sunflower. Did you take the time to notice every single tiny little flower of the sunflower inflorescence, or were you salivating for salty, crunchy sunflower seeds to enjoy at a ballgame instead? By any chance did you notice that what we call the sunflower, is actually hundreds of tiny little flowers, that each contain their own reproductive anatomy and produce their own individual seed? Sunflower and cannabis plants have their own type of inflorescence, and although they differ, they are similar in how we discuss them in a singular form, even though we are talking about many flowers.
By Max Montrose, @max.montrose @trichome.institute #weedbetter “I hope you learned something new!”
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