MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This is the wild cousin of the cultivated hop that has been used for centuries to flavour, preserve and clear beers and ales. The plant is either male or female and it is the dried un-pollinated female flowers, or cones, that are used in brewing. It is a prodigious bine, spiraling clockwise around a support (in this case a hazel sapling) and in favourable conditions can reach up to 9 meters in all directions from its base. Origin, Europe West Asia and N America. Photographed in Coulon, Les Marais Poitevins, France.
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