What The Hell Is Up With This Marijuana Leaf, Anyway?

What the hell is that bud doing at the base of those leaf blades?

Written By : Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

Ever since I started writing about marijuana, every time I look for related images online I keep running across a pot leaf photo that just doesn’t make sense.

Unfortunately, it seems to be one of the most popular “marijuana” photos on the web, and, in fact, is the top result for a Google image search on the term “marijuana.” Annoyingly, it’s also the top image result for “marijuana leaf.”
But there’s something just wrong looking about that leaf, and it doesn’t take long to figure out why.
This photo — which Discovery Health says it sourced from Marijuana.com — seems to show what looks like a female cannabis flower coming out the base of a marijuana leaf, where the leaf blades meet the leaf stem.
Now, I know Marijuana.com isn’t known as the best place for accurate weed info. In fact, it’s covered with those maddening “fake marijuana” ads for “legal buds.” But are they really the source of this photo? I’ve not been able to find it on the site.

I’m not saying the photo is absolutely impossible, but I believe it’s just inaccurate — at least, I’ve never seen that happen. Have you? If so, do you have a photo?
Cannabis flowers, as all know, occur either at the very tips of stems, or right against the main stalk of the plant. This is true for both males and females. And while leaves often grow out of buds, buds don’t grow out of leaves — buds grow only out of stalks or stems.
This photo is all the more irritating because of its ubiquity. Seemingly no matter where one looks on the web, there it is, again and again, displaying its botanical unlikelihood as a supposedly representative picture of marijuana in article after article.
It seems to be a real favorite whenever a “mainstream” site is doing a “marijuana article” and looking for a royalty-free photo.
If the bud were down at the base of the leaf stem, rather than at the base of the leaf blades where they meet the stem, I would be more inclined to accept it as genuine. But since I’ve never seen a bud grow at this particular spot on a leaf, I’m skeptical.
There’s only the one photo, seemingly everywhere, showing this phenomenon. I’ve never been able to uncover another one like it.
Who took — or faked — this photo? Why does it depict a bud growing out the base of the topside of a leaf? And why is this inaccurate photo — or, at least, very atypical photo — the most popular marijuana photo on the Web?
marijuana-leaf sized.jpg
Photo: Retro Tee Shirts
An actual marijuana leaf doesn’t have flowers at the base of the leaf blades, where they meet the stem.
male_female_cannabis.jpeg
Photo: Weed Farmer
Cannabis flowers typically grow out of stalks and stems, not out of leaves.

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9 Responses

  1. Kyle L. says:

    i’ve thought the same things about this photo, run into it all the time

  2. brady says:

    Hey, just wanted to confirm that this is possible. I grew out a bunch of Querkle seeds last year and two of my plants grew buds on their leaves just like this.

  3. stacy says:

    i have grown some california orange in the past that did this.i thought it was a one of a kind…i say inbreeding recessive trate

  4. J says:

    Yes, I’ve seen this too. Sorry no photo’s, cops like to use them to destroy lives.

  5. Terry says:

    You know what else shows up on EVERY marijuana site? HALF-NAKED GIRLS. How about some half-naked guys?! Do you seriously think only men use pot? Or do you think women are going to get SO turned on by the chicks they turn to you guys and lavish you with sex?! Good grief.

  6. alias smith says:

    I went looking for this photo because I have a Sativa plant (or mostly Sativa) and it has at least two leaves with smaller versions of the same thing (the bud is literally growing out of the leaf). I only noticed them today. This plant grew with 3 substems through vegging and has been in flower for 3 weeks.

  7. Scorpio says:

    i just took this photo of one of my Romulans leaves, there are several more, and on other plants. until now, I had never heard of this.

  8. Scorpio says:

    I can’t figure out how to post the pic

  1. February 22, 2011

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