FoI
Common Hop   
Foto info
Common Hop
ntroduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Common Hop
Botanical name: Humulus lupulus    Family: Cannabaceae (Marijuana 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. Stems are annual, slender, climbing, up to 9 m in length, often with stout hooked hairs. Leaves are oppositely arranged, heart-shaped, 3-5-lobed, margins toothed, stalk slightly fleshy with stout hooked hairs. Plant is dioecious with unisexual flowers on separate plants, but occasionally monoecious plants occur, in which case male or female flowers are often infertile. The flowers are wind-pollinated. Female inflorescence are cone-like, 2.5-5 cm long, whereas male flowers are borne in long racemes. The flower cones of the plant, known as hops, are used in the production of beer to impart bitterness and flavor, and for their preservative qualities. Common Hop is native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, and is widely cultivated around the world.
Medicinal uses: Dried female hops have historically been used for its sedative effects on the central nervous system due to its methylbutenol content as a treatment for stress, anxiety and insomnia. Hops have been studied for anti-viral properties and anti-micro bacterial properties. They also contain numerous various flavonoids, and they have been studied for containing estrogen precursors as well.

Identification credit: Vijayasankar Raman
Photographed in Lahaul, Himachal Pradesh.
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