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TREES & plants

Common hop

Foliage of common hops, cultivar 'Aurea'.

Common hop is the plant used to flavor beer, but it can also be an ornamental vine for the garden.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm's Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.  

Botanical name: 
Humulus lupulus
All Common Names: 
Common hop, European hop
Family (English): 
Hemp
Family (Botanic): 
Cannabaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Vine
Native Locale: 
  • Chicago area, 
  • Illinois, 
  • Non-native, 
  • North America
Landscape Uses: 
  • Container, 
  • Screen, 
  • Shade tree, 
  • Specimen
Size Range: 
  • Large plant (more than 24 inches)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Dry soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest: 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer, 
  • Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Vining
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size and Method of Climbing

Common hop is a herbaceous vine growing 10 to 15 feet.  It is a twining vine.  Twining vines climb by twisting their stems or leaf stalks around a support.  This type of vine grows well on trellises, arbors, wires or chain-link fences.

Plant Care

Grows well in both sun and part sun; prefers a moist, well-drained soil.  Tolerant of some drought.

Disease, pests, and problems

Nothing serious, but aphids can be a pest.

Native geographic location and habitat

Populations are found both in Northern Europe and North America.

C-Value:  5

Leaf description

Simple, opposite leaves are 6 inches long and 4 inches wide.  Leaves have three to five lobes and toothed margins.  Small hairs on the leaves and stems can be irritating to skin.
Leaves are medium green in summer, with little change in fall.

Flower description

Male and female flowers are on separate plants (dioecious).  Male flowers are grrenish-white and held in drooping clusters.  Female flowers are produced in a smaller pendulous spike.  Male flower clusters are somewhat showy.

Fruit description

The fruit is the well-known hop used in beer-making.  It is actually a group of seeds, each enclosed in a persistent bract.

Cultivars and their differences

Golden hops (Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'):   Summer foliage is yellow green to lime green.

Humulus lupulus or Common hop

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.