Humulus japonicus, Japanese Hop
The japanese hop with the scientific name Humulus japonicus belongs to the family of hemp (Cannabaceae). Its origin leads to China, Japan and Korea aswell as the tropical Asia with Vietnam. During the late 1500s it was imported to the USA as neophyte and was used there as a tonic or ornamental wine.
Different from the Cannabis plant, this kind of hemp does not contain any cannabinoids. It can grow up to a height of four meters in size with the habitus of a small tree or an understory shrub. As a climbing plant it needs some walls or ropes to grow at. The stem is rough-textured and covered with downward pointing short and sharp prickles. Thus it should be paid attention to it when the plant is planted or transplanted. Do not do this without using gloves!
The leaves are also rough-textured and grow paired. They look like hands with a lobed shape and a size of ten to fifteen centimeters. The little yellow to greenish flowers can be seen from July to August. Male and female flowers can be found on separate plants. The seeds have a light-brown color marked with some darker specks and grow and mature in September.
As herbal plant it is used in China and Japan. There a brew of all parts of this pant is drunken for the strengthening of bladder and genitals.
This plant prefers shady places to grow, they should be kept dry. Exceptions are pot-planted plants. They need humid and moisture soils.
The Japanese hop can achieve an age of three years. During the winter months it can be kept outside..