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Hop vine (Humulus lupulus) with female flowers (cones), which are used —Grant Heilman Photography
In botany, either of two species of the genus Humulus, nonwoody annual or perennial vines in the hemp family, native to temperate North America, Eurasia, and South America. The hops used in the brewery industry (seebeer) are the dried female flower clusters (cones) of the common hop (H. lupulus), a long-lived perennial with rough twining stems. Hops impart a mellow bitterness and delicate aroma to brewed beverages and aid in their preservation. The Japanese hop (H. japonicus) is a quick-growing annual species used as a screening vine.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hop, visit Britannica.com.