Botanical name : Humulus Lupulus
Common name : Hop / Hops
Physical appearance : A large climbing plant which can grow up to 6 metres in height. The leaves are toothed and have five lobes. The female flowers grow in rounded clusters (what we commonly think of as hops).
Edible parts : Very young leaves and stems.
Best places to find : Wasteland, scrub land, hedgerows, woodland edges.
Time of year : Best harvested between July and August, for beer making. For eating, the young shoots and leaves should be harvested no later than May.
Serving suggestions : The young shoots and leaves can be cooked and prepared in the same way as store bought asparagus. Can also be used as a replacement for asparagus in dishes.
Nutritional value : High in vitamins B, C, E and A.
Other uses : Mature female flower clusters can be made into beer through the process of fermentation.
NB - Please be sure you know what you are picking. Many plants look similar to one another and many can be poisonous! Please seek professional instruction if you are unsure!
Photo courtesy of LuckyStarr - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=509655