BBY015 :: Humulus lupulus


This entry was bound to be a big botany learning experience for me. As with most of the entries I’m currently working on, this one was hastily observed and forgotten until later. Looking at the pictures, I thought it must be a grape vine. I could see tiny flowers which I assumed would turn into grapes later in the summer. The leaves looked about right and there were vines. I thought there was a possibility it was a Canadian moonseed, a poisonous lookalike to grapes that must be identified, unsurprisingly, by a crescent-shaped seed before accidently eating.

I was surprised when the flowers matured in mid-September. This was another proof that a budding botanist must closely observe things throughout the whole year before coming to a conclusion! These were unmistakably hops, although I had not knowingly seen the plants up close before. There may have been a farm that grew hops nearby back in the day, or since the vines are spreading and invasive, the plants could have travelled! Hops are listed as an invasive plant in the 2005 Weedbusters volunteer manual along the Southshore Trail at Burnaby Lake, where I have observed them still.

Hops are in the hemp family, Cannabaceae.

Specimen recorded July 24, 2020, 18:44 at the northbound trailhead from the Pavilion parking lot.

Art by Nelson Spies, May 12, 2021. Pencil crayon on medium texture coloured pencil paper.


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