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Old 04-04-2011, 09:19 PM   #1
iamdaph
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Default Are Hops an Invasive Species?

Is Humulus lupulus an invasive species? If I plant these will they eventually spread and start to take out the native plant life? I love home brewing but I also love keeping an ecosystem running properly.

I'm not talking about the Japanese Hops, I asking about the hops rhizomes you can buy on the internet (Casscase, Nugget, etc...)

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #2
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They are not on any "invasives" list as far as Public Agencies are concerned, but they have invasive characteristics, so you've got to watch where you plant them. They can take over a yard and spread. - quote by Bob, my wildlife biologist/botanist guy.

That said, Bob has planted quite a few rhizomes in our yard! They are fine, if kept under control. I've noticed that some of the cascade crowns/roots/rhizomes whatever they are are under our deck. The hallertauer are spreading near the garden. They really do grow like weeds, and in our area we see old farms with falling barns covered with hops! They aren't growing through the fields, though, or invaded into the woods.

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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Invasive? Not really as the female plant will only produce the hop cones that we use in beer. They will spread by their roots.

Invasive defines those plants that produce copious amount of seed, such as dandelions.

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent_in_Aurora View Post
Invasive? Not really as the female plant will only produce the hop cones that we use in beer. They will spread by their roots.

Invasive defines those plants that produce copious amount of seed, such as dandelions.
Off-topic, but invasive plants aren't only those that produce copious amount of seed! Those that spread other ways are just as invasive. For example, kudzu and Japanese knotweed, too of the worst in the US for being invasive!
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:59 AM   #5
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Like Yooper's Bob, I too am a wildlife biologist. I believe hops would fall under the non-native or exotic category, but not invasive. That is they can establish here, I've found them growing wild out west, but they aren't outcompeting other species or altering ecosystem function in any way.

That said, I would recommend being responsible in planting. I read some post on here where a guy was "guerrilla" planting hops around the SE which made the conservationist in me shudder.

Oh yeah, and my second year plants are looking great

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