Do you know that among our herbaceous plants there is a liana, the length of which reaches more than 10 m? This is the longest known wild grass. Her name is curly hops. On the riverine floodplains, along ravines and moist broad-leaved forests, you can see an unforgettable picture: the green thicket seems to be sewn with purple cords.
For twenty years or more, the rhizome of the creeper lives, throwing annually a new long stem.Hop
As soon as the ground warms up in the spring, the rhizome buds wake up, pushing out thick juicy shoots. In appearance, these shoots resemble vegetable asparagus, with which at this time they can compete on the table. Hop shoots and taste like asparagus. But the shoots quickly reached out to the support, intertwining shrubs or young trees. Hexagonal grow, hollow, like hemp, stems quickly. Their hops curl strictly clockwise. For tenacity, thin, flexible and long stems are equipped with hook spikes.
Hop leaves opposite, on long purple petioles.
Flowering will quickly reveal heterosexual individuals. Male flowers are small, collected in panicles. Ripe pollen grains are light, dry. Caught in the wind, they can be carried up to a distance of 3 km. After flowering, panicles fall off. Other female inflorescences are cones hanging in clusters from branches. The cone consists of flowers placed on a cranked stem. Fertilized female flowers subsequently produce seeds, which are small brown nuts.
Hops blooms for a long time, from July to the end of August. At the end of flowering on the scales, stem and ovary, it is easy to notice small golden yellow bubbles. These are lupulin glands, for the sake of which people have long bred hops. Put this spice in kvass for perfumes. In bread baking, it can replace yeast.
Ripe hop cones are so rich in lupulin that it is worth touching, as yellow powder literally sprinkles from them. These are lupulin grains. As soon as the cones begin to exude a delicate aroma, and the scales noticeably brighten - it's time to start cleaning hops.Hop
In culture, climbing hops have been developed since the early Middle Ages. From what economic points of view it was not considered! It turned out that this plant can give both oil, which is obtained from inflorescences, and fiber, not inferior to hemp in strength. Young shoots before blooming in the Caucasus are used as a vegetable. In raw form, the shoots are crumbled and eaten in a salad, boiled - watered with peanut sauce and eaten instead of beans and asparagus. Young leaves, chopped and fermented with salt, are suitable for cooking green cabbage soup instead of cabbage or nettle.
This plant is bred by rhizomes or shortened cuttings-seedlings. In adult hoppers, all lashes after trimming are to be cut. The signal to cut is the complete death of the stems. Overripe cones are red, almost without lupulin and are not suitable for business.