Content Detail

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

  • Family (English) Hemp
  • Family (botanic) Cannabaceae
  • Tree or plant type Vine
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, Non-native, North America
  • 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 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Dry soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Dry sites, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Vining
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Method of Climbing:

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

Native geographic location and habitat:

C-value: 5. Populations are found both in northern Europe and North America.

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 greenish-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.

Plant care:

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

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Nothing serious, but aphids can be a pest.

Golden hops (Humulus lupulus ‘Aureus’):

Summer foliage is yellow-green to lime-green.


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