Humulus lupulus


Hop is a sun-loving climbing plant that is most famous for its role in beer-making. It rambles through woodland, field edges, hedgerows and waste ground, growing in sunny areas. Hop bears male and female flowers on different plants: the male flowers are small, but the female ones are like large, scaled apples and are unmistakeable. Glands within these flowers contain essential oils and have a distinctive, yeasty-garlic smell.

How to identify

A scrambling climber of hedges, look for the nettle-like, deeply lobed leaves of Hops and the female flowers which are shaped like mini, green pine cones.

Where to find it

Found all over the UK, but most common in England.


When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The loss of many of our hedgerows in the countryside mean that ornamental shrubs and hedges in our gardens provide vital food and shelter for a range of wildlife including butterflies, birds and small mammals. To encourage wildlife into your garden, try planting hedges of native species, including climbers like Hop. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Humulus lupulus
Height: up to 5m
Conservation status