Connect with us


Report an Invasive Species

Hops

Hops

Hops

(Humulus lupulus)

Priority: -  Control

Tags: Terrestrial | Medicinal | Edible

Identification and Reproduction

Identification: 

  • Hops is also known as common hop, it is a perennial, herbbaeous climbing plant.
  • Stems are green, branching and have downward-pointing hairs that allow it to grab and climb other objects. 
  • It can climb up to 10 m high and can live up to 20 years. 

   

  • Leaves have 3-5 deep lobes with pointed tips. Underside of leaves are covered in soft hairs. 
  • Flowers appear from July to August and seeds will ripen in September and October. 
  • Female flowers appear as thread-like spikes that are green to yellow. Male flowers are found in branching clusters with each individual flower composed of 5 spreading sepals. 
  • Seeds are found singularly encased in cone-like bracts. 

Reproduction: 

  • Reproduces by seed. 
  • Plants will die back every winter and survive as perennial roots. In the spring it will send up new shoots. 
  • Can regrow from root fragments from the main crown. 

Habitat & Ecology

  • Hops grows well in sites with full sun, with moderate amounts of precipitation. 
  • It thrives in well-draining, moist and rich soil.

Impacts

Social: 

  • This plant can cause dermatitis with skin contact. 
  • Dislodged hairs from the plant have also been known to irritate eyes. 

Ecological: 

  • Its scientific name lupulus, is Latin for small wolf, which is in reference to this plant's ability to strangle other surrounding plants. 
  • A fast and aggressive grower, hops will take over space very quickly. 

Management

Mechanical/Manual Control: 

  • Remove before seeds have set to prevent re-establishment. 
  • Wear gloves, long sleeves and pants when working on hops to prevent dermatitis. 
  • Cut climbing vines, gently remove and unwind from objects or other plants. 
  • If possible dig up the roots but refrain from fragmenting runners (stolons that "run" above ground). Any pieces left on site may regrow. 
  • Once plant has been removed it is reccommended to replant or mulch the area to suppress hops regrowth. 

Resources

For more information on how to identify common hops check out E-flora BC's data page on Humulus lupulus here. 

Header photo (Dr. Hagen Graebner).