E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Humulus lupulus L.
common hop (common hops)
Cannabaceae (Hemp family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Vince Bando  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #31302)

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Distribution of Humulus lupulus
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Humulus lupulus var. lupulus


Common hops is a perennial, herbaceous, rhizomatous climbing vine with distinctive 3- to 5-lobed leaves. Four varieties are recognized in North America, including the introduced European variety Humulus lupulus var. lupulus, and the native variety, var. neomexicanus (Flora North America 2010 ). The native variety is reported for BC by Flora North America and the USDA (2010). However, the varieties of hop are challenging to separate and in BC further work is needed to determine which varieties are confirmed as present and their invasive status.

Hops, made from the flowering cones of var. lupulus, is an important ingredient in beer-making. It is a source of prenylflavonoids, including 8-Prenylnaringenin, a potent phytoestrogen (Possemiers et al. 2006).

Species Information

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Perennial herbaceous vine; stems twining, rough, up to 10 m long.
Opposite, heart-shaped at the base, stipulate, 3-5 lobed, strongly toothed, rough-hairy, 4-10 cm long.
Inflorescence of unisexual axillary flowers; female flowers in cylindric spikes, greenish-yellow, 3-5 cm long, yellow-glandular especially at the base of the bracts; male flowers in panicles.
Achenes, hidden by enlarged bracts.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Ditches and disturbed areas in the lowland zone; infrequent in SW and SC BC, known only from the lower Fraser Valley and N Okanagan; introduced from Europe or elsewhere in North America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Sam Possemiers, Selin Bolca, Charlotte Grootaert, Arne Heyerick, Karel Decroos, Willem Dhooge, Denis De Keukeleire, Sylvie Rabot, Willy Verstraete and Tom Van de Wiele. 2006. The Prenylflavonoid Isoxanthohumol from Hops (Humulus lupulus L.) Is Activated into the Potent Phytoestrogen 8-Prenylnaringenin In Vitro and in the Human Intestine. Nutrition 136:1862-1867.

General References