Humulus lupulus L.


Vine with a rhizomatous root. Shoots prickly. Leaves more or less round, 6-10 cm long, entire or 3-lobed, base heart-shaped, margin with irregular teeth. Female flowers enlarging to form the cone-like fruits (hops); mostly summer.

Temperate Europe & Asia

Hops require a cool climate with frosts; they are sensitive to day length and will not grow effectively if days are too long in winter.

Hops were originally grown by the early settlers around Sydney but the cooler climate requirement meant that commercial plantations spread to Tasmania and Victoria. In 1995 there were commercial plantations for the brewing industry in the Ovens and King Valleys in Victoria (725 acres). The largest producer in Victoria is the Rostrevor Hop Gardens. In Tasmania there are plantations in the NE near Scotsdale (725 acres), NW at Gunns Plains near Ulverstone (410 acreas) and in the south, mostly near Hobart at Bushy Park (647 acres). 60% of production is by a commercial company (which exports 35% of its crop), the remaining 40% by private growers. In 1994-95 Australia exported 75% of its crop. The Hop Research Station is now at Myrtleford, Victoria. Plants take 3 years to grow to maturity: flowers ap­pear in January and the cones are harvested in March.

The scaly, papery cone-like fruit heads are used in brewing beer; the refuse hops from breweries are a valuable manure.

Vegetative by stem cuttings and rhizomes.

Leaves generally 3-lobed; unusual cone-shaped female flowers and fruits.

Pearce (1976).

Early English cultivars proved unsuccessful in Victoria and Tasmania and an American hop 'Californian Cluster' ['Cluster'] was used for a while. In 1950 Carlton & United Breweries established a hop research station with the aim of developing varieties better suited to local conditions and of an improved quality. Two cultivars are used for commercial production, both Australian raised.

Source: Hamilton, P.; Hughes, G.; Spencer, R (1997). Humulus. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Humulus lupulus 'Pride Of Ringwood'

Produced by Bill Nash of Carlton and United Brewery, Victoria at the former Ringwood Hop Research Station. It was released in 1958 and was not only disease resistant but had one of the most desireable chemical compositions for its time. However, this cultivar has been largely superseded by the superior cultivar Humulus lupulus 'Victoria'.

Humulus lupulus 'Victoria'

Bred by Graham Hughes of Carlton and United Brewery as a triploid with exceptional acid content. It has been gradually released to growers since 1990.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Rosanae
order      Rosales
family       Cannabaceae
genus        Humulus L.