Scientific Name: Humulus japonicus

Common Name: Japanese hop

Synonyms: Humulus scandens

Leaves: Leaves: Leaves are approximately 2 to 4 inches long and are divided into 5 distinct lobes. Leaves are rough to the touch and occur on petioles that may reach 8 inches in length. Bracts occur at the base of the leaf petioles. Stems: Climbing or trailing along the ground and are covered with small prickles that are turned downward. Bracts occur where the leaf petioles attach to the stem.

Identifying Characteristics: Annual climbing or trailing vine with 5-lobed leaves and stems with prickles. The climbing or trailing growth habit, conspicuously 5-lobed leaves, and stems with downward pointed prickles are all characteristics that help in the identification of Japanese hops. Wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) also has 5-lobed leaves and a similar growth habit, however this weed has tendrils and does not have the downward pointing prickles along the stem like Japanese hops.

Flower Seed Head: Individual flowers are relatively inconspicuous, without petals, and green in color. Flowers occur in clusters that may reach 2 1/2 inches in length.

Seed Fruit: An achene.

Where Found: Japanese Hops is primarily a weed of pastures, hayfields, and other noncrop areas that is found throughout Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Plant family: Cannabaceae