These fast-growing, twining vines are attractive for summer screening on trellises or arborsand one species yields the hops used in beer. Leaves to 6 in. long are deeply lobed and toothed. Bloom in late summer. Male plants produce flower panicles; females bear blossoms in greenish spikes resembling pinecones. Squarish, hairy stems are set with deeply lobed, toothed leaves to 6 in. long. Stems twine vertically; to get horizontal growth, twine stem tips by hand. Cut stems to ground after frost turns them brown; regrowth comes the following spring.
H. japonicus. JAPANESE HOP. From eastern Asia. To 2030 ft. Bears 34-in. female flower spikes. Dark green leaves have five to seven lobes; foliage of 'Variegatus' is marked with white. Sow seeds in place in spring.
H. lupulus. COMMON HOP. From many northern temperate regions of the world. This species produces the traditional flavoring for beer. The hopsfemale flowersare soft, flaky, 1- to 2-in., light green cones of bracts and blossoms with a fresh, piny fragrance. Bright green leaves have three to five lobes. Tender top shoots can be cooked as a vegetable. Plants sold in nurseries are typically female; no pollenizer needed. May be offered as potted plants or as dormant roots. The roots should be planted in rich soil in early spring; set just below soil surface with thick end up. Many selections are available, including 'Aureus', which has attractive chartreuse foliage.