Hop (plant)
Humulus, Hop, is a small genus of flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Hemisphere is the half of a planet that is north of its equator—the word hemisphere literally means “half sphere”. It is also that half of the celestial sphere north of the celestial equator...

. The female flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s (often called "cones") of H. lupulus are known as hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

, and are used as a culinary flavor
Flavor or flavour is the sensory impression of a food or other substance, and is determined mainly by the chemical senses of taste and smell. The "trigeminal senses", which detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat as well as temperature and texture, are also very important to the overall...

ing and stabilizer, especially in the brewing
Brewing is the production of beer through steeping a starch source in water and then fermenting with yeast. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BCE, and archeological evidence suggests that this technique was used in ancient Egypt...

 of beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

. The hop is part of the family Cannabaceae
Cannabaceae are a small family of flowering plants. As now circumscribed, the family includes about 170 species grouped in about 11 genera, including Cannabis , Humulus and Celtis...

, which also includes the genera Cannabis
Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants that includes three putative species, Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three taxa are indigenous to Central Asia, and South Asia. Cannabis has long been used for fibre , for seed and seed oils, for medicinal purposes, and as a...

Hemp is mostly used as a name for low tetrahydrocannabinol strains of the plant Cannabis sativa, of fiber and/or oilseed varieties. In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food and fuel with modest...

), and Celtis (hackberries).


Although frequently referred to as the hop "vine", it is technically a bine
Bine (botany)
A bine is a climbing plant which climbs by its shoots growing in a helix around a support. It is distinct from a vine, which climbs using tendrils or suckers.The stems of many bines are rough or have downward-pointing bristles to aid their grip....

; unlike vine
A vine in the narrowest sense is the grapevine , but more generally it can refer to any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent, that is to say climbing, stems or runners...

s, which use tendril
In botany, a tendril is a specialized stem, leaf or petiole with a threadlike shape that is used by climbing plants for support, attachment and cellular invasion by parasitic plants, generally by twining around suitable hosts. They do not have a lamina or blade, but they can photosynthesize...

s, suckers, and other appendages for attaching themselves, bines have stout stems with stiff hairs to aid in climbing. It is a perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 herbaceous plant
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to the cold-hardy rhizome
In botany and dendrology, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes...

 in autumn. Hop shoots grow very rapidly and at the peak of growth can grow 20 to 50 cm (7.9 to 19.7 in) per week. Hop bines climb by wrapping clockwise around anything within reach, and individual bines typically grow between 2 to 15 m (6.6 to 49.2 ft) depending on what is available to grow on. The leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are opposite, with a 7 to 12 cm (2.8 to 4.7 in) leafstalk and a heart-shaped, fan-lobed blade 12 to 25 cm (4.7 to 9.8 in) long and broad; the edges are coarsely toothed. When the hop bines run out of material to climb, horizontal shoots sprout between the leaves of the main stem to form a network of stems wound round each other.

Male and female flowers of the hops plant develop on separate plants (dioecious). Female plants, which produce the hops flowers used in brewing beer, often are propagated vegetatively
Vegetative reproduction
Vegetative reproduction is a form of asexual reproduction in plants. It is a process by which new individuals arise without production of seeds or spores...

 and grown in the absence of male plants. This prevents pollination and the development of viable seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s which are sometimes considered undesirable for brewing beer.


There are three species, one with five varieties:
  • Humulus japonicus
    Humulus japonicus
    Humulus japonicus is an ornamental plant in the Cannabaceae family.This species is a host plant for Polygonia c-aureum.-External links:***...

    (syn. H. scandens). Asian Hop. Leaves with 5–7 lobes. Eastern Asia.
  • Humulus lupulus
    Humulus lupulus
    Humulus lupulus is a species of Humulus in the Cannabaceae family.Common hop is a dioecious, perennial herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to the cold-hardy rhizome in autumn...

    . Common Hop. Leaves with 3–5 lobes. Europe
    Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

    , western Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

    , North America
    North America
    North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

    • Humulus lupulus var. lupulus. Europe, western Asia.
    • Humulus lupulus var. cordifolius. Eastern Asia.
    • Humulus lupulus var. lupuloides (syn. H. americanus). Eastern North America.
    • Humulus lupulus var. neomexicanus. Western North America.
    • Humulus lupulus var. pubescens
      Humulus lupulus var. pubescens
      Humulus lupulus var. pubescens is a variety of Humulus lupulus . It can be found growing mainly in the Midwestern and Eastern United States.- Habitat :...

      . Midwest North America.
  • Humulus yunnanensis. Yunnan Hop. Leaves with 3–5 lobes, densely hairy below. Southeast Asia (endemic
    Endemic (ecology)
    Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

     in Yunnan
    Yunnan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the far southwest of the country spanning approximately and with a population of 45.7 million . The capital of the province is Kunming. The province borders Burma, Laos, and Vietnam.Yunnan is situated in a mountainous area, with...

    , China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...


Brewers' hops are specific cultivars, propagated by asexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single parent, and inherit the genes of that parent only, it is reproduction which does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction, or fertilization. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which is reproduction without...

: see List of hop varieties.

Hop applications

Hops are boiled with the wort
Wort may refer to:* Wort, the liquid created by the mashing of malted barley to use in brewing beer* Worting, Hampshire, a large district and suburb of the town of Basingstoke, in Hampshire, England....

 in brewing beer. They impart a bitter taste and aromatic flavor, and prevent fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 from being too rapid.

In pharmacy
Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs...

 lupulus is the designation of hop. The dried catkin
A catkin or ament is a slim, cylindrical flower cluster, with inconspicuous or no petals, usually wind-pollinated but sometimes insect pollinated . They contain many, usually unisexual flowers, arranged closely along a central stem which is often drooping...

s of the female plant of H. lupulus are used to prepare infusion
An infusion is the outcome of steeping plants with desired chemical compounds or flavors in water or oil.-History:The first recorded use of essential oils was in the 10th or 11th century by the Persian polymath Avicenna, possibly in The Canon of Medicine.-Preparation techniques:An infusion is very...

 of hop, tincture
A tincture is an alcoholic extract or solution of a non-volatile substance . To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60%...

 of hop, and extract
An extract is a substance made by extracting a part of a raw material, often by using a solvent such as ethanol or water. Extracts may be sold as tinctures or in powder form....

 of hop.

Hops in culture

Hops were voted the County flower
County flowers of the United Kingdom
The following are the flowers selected for the historic counties of the United Kingdom in Plantlife's 2002 "County Flowers" campaign...

 of Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife
Plantlife is a wild plant conservation charity. As of 2007, its membership was 10,500 and it owned 23 nature reserves around the UK.-History:It was founded in 1989 with its first President being Professor David Bellamy. By 1999 it had 22 nature reserves....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.