Humulus lupulus (common hop or hop) is a species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, native to Europe, western Asia and North America. It is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Strictly speaking it is a bine rather than a vine, using its own shoots to act as supports for new growth.
The species is a main ingredient of many beers, and as such is widely cultivated for use by the brewing industry (for more information, see the main article on Hops). The fragrant flower cones (hops) impart bitterness and flavor, and also have preservative qualities. The extract is antimicrobial, which makes it useful for making natural deodorant. Hops also contain the potent phytoestrogen, 8-prenylnaringenin, that may have a relative binding affinity to estrogen receptors. Hop also contains myrcene, humulene, xanthohumol, myrcenol, linalool, tannins, and resin.
The five varieties of this species (Humulus lupulus) are:
- H. l. var. lupulus – Europe, western Asia
- H. l. var. cordifolius – eastern Asia
- H. l. var. lupuloides (syn. H. americanus) – eastern North America
- H. l. var. neomexicanus – western North America
- H. l. var. pubescens – midwestern North America
Many cultivated varieties are found in the list of hop varieties. A pale, ornamental variety, Humulus lupulus 'Aureus', is cultivated for garden use. It is also known as golden hop, and holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Pests and diseases
Common hop in culture
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- "Hops [CO2] Extract". Toms of Maine. Retrieved 2009-06-06.
- "Identification of a potent phytoestrogen in hops (Humulus lupulus L.) and beer". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999 June. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- "Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' AGM". RHS Plant Selector. Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Plantlife website County Flowers page
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