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!