27 March 2011

Hops is a bine not a vine

It's the time of year to remove the final remains of many vines that grew into the shrubs and onto fences last year to make room for this year's growth.

Some climbing plants like the Euonymus and climbing hydrangea can be left without pruning right now, but the other perennials such as grapes and hops need attention.

Last year I allowed morning glories to climb up to the top of crape myrtle trees where we could enjoy their jewel tone colors where we have our morning coffee in the summer. Now they have to be pulled down and the seedlings thinned for this year.

Hops - new growth emerging thisweek
The hops vine, it turns out isn't truly a vine. It's a bine. Vines use tendrils, hairs, suckers and the like to hold onto their supports. Bines use stems and hairs to hang on. By spring, the plant is completely dead to the ground so the woody remains are pretty easy to pull out of the support fence.

However beautifully and reliably hops covers chain link fence for me every summer, it, like many vines/bines will sucker all over the place. If you want to train it you must be vigilant in the spring. One author said to eat the early vine prunings like asparagus. We haven't tried that yet.

And, did you know that humulus is a member of the canabaceae family?

Also, since hops is used as a calming herb, it is sometimes used to help people come down from alcohol abuse. Check out Paghat for more lore.

2 comments:

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I did not know that. Thanks for the information. I hope everything got straightened out on the photos for the Oklahoma Gardener story. Thanks again.~~Dee

Martha said...

Just finished next week's article on Lovage - fascinating research!

I sent her another half dozen photos and assume that they took care of her needs. We'll hear if they need more ;-)I assume.

Was fun working with you on it. Hope your work load lightens soon! Thought about sending you a copy of the book, "Your Money or Your Life".