Humulus lupulus – Hops (plant)
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Humulus lupulus is a species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, native to Europe, western Asia and North America. Commonly called Hops. It is a dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn.
Hops are described as bine plants rather than vine because unlike vines, they have stiff downward facing hairs that provide stability and allow them to climb. These shoots allow Humulus lupulus to grow anywhere from 4.6 to 6.1 metres. Hops have fragrant, wind-pollinated flowers that attract butterflies and are full of yellow resin containing the active ingredients.
The female cone shaped fruits from Humulus lupulus are used by breweries to preserve and flavour beer, and so Humulus lupulus is widely cultivated for use by the brewing industry. In Australia this is in the colder regions of Victoria and Tasmania. The fragrant flower cones, known as hops, impart a bitter flavour and also have aromatic and preservative qualities. Humulus lupulus cones contains myrcene, humulene, xanthohumol, myrcenol, linalool, tannins, and resin. (Info at Wikipedia). Hops also has traditional herbal uses, most importantly being an effective and safe sedative.
Care and Cultivation of Humulus lupulus
Humulus lupulus likes a full sun position and well-drained soil. Needs a trellis or fence, etc to climb over. If you keep the water up to them without waterlogging, they can grow exceedingly fast when active. Fertilise well when they become active again after winter, during which they will die back to the rootstock each year.
1 female plant (Hallertau variety)
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