Humulus lupulus

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Common hop
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Cannabaceae
Genus: Humulus
Species: H. lupulus
Binomial name
Humulus lupulus
  • Humulus cordifolius Miq.
  • Humulus volubilis Salisb. nom. illeg.
  • Humulus vulgaris Gilib.
  • Lupulus amarus Gilib.
  • Lupulus communis Gaertn.
  • Lupulus humulus Mill.
  • Lupulus scandens Lam. nom. illeg.

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.

H. lupulus 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 impart bitterness and flavor, and also have preservative qualities.[2] H. lupulus contains myrcene, humulene, xanthohumol, myrcenol, linalool, tannins, and resin.


'Golden' hop

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).[3]

Pests and diseases[edit]

Animal pests[edit]


Main article: List of hop diseases


H. lupulus was voted the county flower of Kent in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.[4]


  • H. lupulus contains the potent phytoestrogen 8-prenylnaringenin, which may have a relative binding affinity to estrogen receptors.[5]
  • H. lupulus extract is antimicrobial, an activity which has been exploited in the manufacture of natural deodorant.[6]
  • Spent H. lupulus extract has also been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities, raising the possibility this waste product of the brewing industry could be developed for medical applications.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 2 February 2016 
  2. ^ "Antimicrobial screening of essential oils and extracts of some Humulus lupulus L. cultivars.". Pharm Weekbl Sci. 1992 Dec 11;14(6):353-6. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  3. ^ "Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' AGM". RHS Plant Selector. Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Plantlife website County Flowers page
  5. ^ "Identification of a potent phytoestrogen in hops (Humulus lupulus L.) and beer". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. June 1999. Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Hops [CO2] Extract". Toms of Maine. Retrieved 2009-06-06. [dead link]
  7. ^ Rozalski M, Micota B, Sadowska B, Stochmal A, Jedrejek D, Wieckowska-Szakiel M, Rozalska B (2013). "Antiadherent and Antibiofilm Activity of Humulus lupulus L. Derived Products: New Pharmacological Properties". BioMed Research International. Article ID 101089: 101089. doi:10.1155/2013/101089. PMID 24175280. 

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