Friday 11 March 2011

Golden hops

I have some Golden Hop (Humulus Lupulus "Aureus") plants in my garden. They grow against the wooden fence at the bottom of the garden. Each year I cut them down to ground level in the Winter and they grow up again the next Spring. Once they get started they grow very rapidly, and with their prolific golden yellow foliage and striking purple-tinged stems they are really good plants for covering-up a plain wall or fence. If you let them, they will easily grow 10 metres or more in a season.

Right now the first of the new season's shoots are poking through the leaf-litter, not at all golden, but looking very much like Asparagus spears.

 I have read that you can eat Hop shoots just like Asparagus, but I have never tried them. Have any of you done so - and if you have, were they worth it?

The Hop shoots perform very much like the Rhubarb. They push through the soil in a protective sheath, which then gets discarded by the rapidly-growing shoot, almost like a chick emerging from its egg-shell. The infant leaves are red / orange to begin with (again, like the Rhubarb), but when they are exposed to the light they turn a greenish yellow. Later in the year the leaves will be bright golden yellow - very attractive.

By the way, here's another pic showing the Rhubarb "dragon" starting to turn green... And you can see the next leaf-bud pushing up at the base of the stalk too.

On the same back fence I have a little Clematis Montana plant, which is just coming into leaf. Last year (when it was new) it didn't produce any flowers. This year, I'm hoping it will.

Finally for today (for no particular reason), I just wanted to show you this picture of a bud on my apple tree...

The promise of good things to come?


  1. Who would know, some of us cannot load a picture! Those same some of up people would be very interested in seeing hops, having never seen them before!

    Some people should go out and get their computers fixed.

    Lovely hops Mark, and fabulous rhubarb. Presumably.

  2. I would be interested to see more picture so the hops when they grow a bit more. Like Ali, I don't think I have ever seen them. I was wondering if they would look good over the arch in the potager. I love the last full of promise!

  3. Interesting, I never heard about this plant before.

  4. I know the reason - you wanted to play with the macro setting. I got a new macro lens for my camera and think I have just about started to get to grips with it!

  5. OK, yes I did have a play with the macro setting on my camera! I don't yet have a "dedicated" macro lens, but I expect it is only a matter of time before I buy one. Actually I am very pleased with the photos I have got with just the standard 14 - 42 lens.

  6. I love golden hops. I had one rampaging over the pergola, it was wonderful until it got a virus and dies. I've never replaced it, but I still miss it. Love the macro apple bud.

  7. I'm not sure asparagus is worth eating; not really.


  8. Might have to try that before I pull out all the hops in my garden. They are pretty and have good fragrance, but invasive as all get out!

  9. We grow hops for beer brewing.


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