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Humulus scandens is often confused with:
Humulus lupulus 3-lobed leaves and fruits
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Tecoma capensis Tecoma capensis
Vitex rotundifolia Flowers
Wisteria sinensis Flowers

Japanese Hops Humulus scandens

Previously known as:

  • Humulus japonicus
Phonetic Spelling
HUM-uh-lus juh-PON-ih-kus
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Japanese Hops is an annual with a tap root, a climbing or twining vine in the hemp family. It is native to eastern Asia, from Russia to North Vietnam. The plant is often found escaped from cultivation along rivers and stream, abandoned home sites, and other moist, disturbed habitats. The plant's stems are twining with branched stalk hairs that aid it in climbing. These stems can reach up to 35 feet and allow the plant to climb structures or to spread along the ground. The leaves are opposite, mostly 5-lobed with a rough texture. Flowers are greenish, appearing in mid-summer to fall. There are separate male and female vines. Both produce small, five-petaled flowers. Male flowers occur in airy clusters, while female flowers are in short spikes. Fruits appear in elongated clusters, enclosed in a papery sac-like bract. Japanese Hops is a larval food source for several species of butterflies. The genus name comes from a Latinized Medieval name of the hop plant. The species epithet, scandens, means "climbing."

Although it can grow in just about any soil type, its most vigorous growth will be in moist fertile loam.  

Although an annual, Japanese Hops can survive mild winters. This drought-tolerant plant is listed as invasive in several of the United States and has escaped cultivation in many areas where it may displace desirable species. In the United States, most infestations are in eastern states, but the species is spreading in the Midwest. Seeds are spread by wind and water, allowing the plant to reseed itself and often forms dense colonies of overlapping vines. For this reason, planting Japanese Hop is not recommended. Japanese Hops can easily be distinguished from the better behaved American Hops; Japanese Hops have leaves with 5–7 lobes, American Hops have leaves with 3 lobes or none.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

The plant is invasive in some states. Control can be maintained by pulling plants before its seeds set, ensuring to remove as much of the root system as possible.  No known diseases or insect problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lutescens'
  • 'Variegatus'
'Lutescens', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#honey bees#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#herbaceous#twining vine#herbaceous annual#vine#butterfly friendly#annual#butterfly caterpillar host#weed#butterfly garden#annual vine
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lutescens'
  • 'Variegatus'
'Lutescens', 'Variegatus'
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#honey bees#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#herbaceous#twining vine#herbaceous annual#vine#butterfly friendly#annual#butterfly caterpillar host#weed#butterfly garden#annual vine
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Humulus
    Species:
    scandens
    Family:
    Cannabaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    An annual vine that can be used as screening.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Asia; Russia south to North Vietnam
    Distribution:
    Eastern Canada, mid-west and eastern United States, south to Georgia. Also parts of Europe.
    Wildlife Value:
    Food source for Gray Hairstreak, Eastern Comma, Question Mark, and Red Admiral butterflies. Honeybees collect the pollen from the female flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Screening
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Creeping
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is an ovoid, yellow-brown achene.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Bracts
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Female vines produce green hops. Flowers are produced in the axils of the leaves. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants (dioecious). Female flowers hang down in cone-shaped clusters; male flowers in upright panicles. The female inflorescence of overlapping bracts are green or purple, pubescent, with densely hairy margins. A pair of inconspicuous female flowers without petals is located at the base of each bract. Male flowers of 5 greenish or purplish sepals, no petals, and 5 anthers.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Mostly opposite, palmately 3-7-veined and -lobed. Leaves are pubescent with stiff hairs on the upper surface and along the veins on the lower surface, and with serrate margins. The petiole is usually longer than the blade.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Its rough stems are twining, green or purple streaked, 4-angeld, with stiff 2-branched stalked hairs that aid in climbing. Stems can reach lengths of 35 feet.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    SKIN IRRITATION MINOR, OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Skin irritation with blisters upon contact.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Volatile oils and bitter acids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves