Humulus lupulus Linn. Urticaceae. Bine. Hop.
Northern Europe and not rare in the United States, especially westward on banks of streams. The scaly cones, or catkins, have been used from the remotest period in the brewing of beer. The hop was well known to the Romans and is mentioned by Pliny under the name lupus sal-tetanus. Hop gardens are named as existing in France and Germany in the eighth and ninth centuries, and Bohemian and Bavarian hops have been known as esteemed kinds since the eleventh century. The hop was mentioned by Joan di Cuba in his Ortus Samtatis as growing in Holland prior to 1485.
Hop roots were mentioned in the Memorandum of Mar. 16, 1629, of seeds to be sent to the Massachusetts Company. The plant was also cultivated in New Netherlands as early as 1646, and in Virginia in 1648 it is said, "their Hopps are faire and large, thrive well." Gerarde says, "The buds or first sprouts which come forth in the Spring are used to be eaten in sallads; yet are they, as Pliny saith, more toothsome than nourishing, for they yield but very small nourishment." Dodoenaeus alludes to this plant as a kitchen herb. He says, "before its tender shoots produce leaves, they are eaten in salads, and are a good and wholesome meat." Hop shoots are now to be found in Covent Garden market and are not infrequently to be seen in other European markets.
The first allusion to the hop as a kitchen herb in America is by Cobbett, 1821. The use of the young shoots is mentioned by Pliny in the first century as collected from the wild plant, rather as a luxury than as a food. Dodonaeus, 1616, refers to the use of the young shoots, as collected apparently from the hop yard, as does also Camerarius, 1586, and others. Emit Pott, in summing up the uses of this plant, says that the tendrils furnish a good vegetable wax and a juice from which a reddish-brown coloring matter can be extracted. Hop ashes are greatly valued in the manufacture of certain Bohemian glasswares. A pulp for paper-making can be satisfactorily bleached, and very serviceable unbleached papers and cardboards are made from this raw material. The fibers can also be used in the manufacture of textile fabrics, and, in Sweden, yarn and linen making from hop fibers has long been an established industry and is constantly increasing in importance and extent. The stalks can also be used for basket and wickerwork. The leaves and the spent hops are excellent food for live stock and especially for sheep.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.