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American Hops has some resemblance to grapevines (Vitis spp.), but it is a coarser and more bristly vine that flowers late in the year, while the latter flowers during the spring. The female fruit of hops is used to flavor beer and prevent decay during fermentation from bacterial processes. It is possible that the wind-dispersed pollen may cause allergic reactions in some people. There are both European and American varieties of this species, and it is quite possible that they have interbred in the wild. Consequently, they are often hard to distinguish. There is a variety of American Hops that has unlobed leaves. There is an invasive non-native species of hops that occurs in the wild, Humulus japonicus (Japanese Hops). This is an annual vine that has leaves with more lobes (5-7) than American Hops. Furthermore, the lobes of its leaves are more narrow and pointed.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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