Author Topic: Hop Tree?  (Read 2286 times)

Offline gimmeales

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Hop Tree?
« on: September 24, 2010, 04:48:17 PM »
Walking on the same route as I do every morning to work and for some reason took notice of some trees lining a couple blocks of sidewalks in downtown Seattle. By the trunk and leaves, looked almost like a plum or cherry but and scattered about were what looked just like massive hop cones - "4-5 long and larger circumference of any hop I've seen by about double.

I rolled one of the cones between my fingers (which were paper-like and browning on the edges like mature hop flower), and got the faintest, green vegetal aroma. Only vaguely 'hoppy'.

Some googling came up with this, appears that this is the 'Hop-hornbeam': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrya

Anyway and interesting find to me, thought some of the others here may find it interesting.

Offline denny

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Re: Hop Tree?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2010, 09:56:43 PM »
Cool!  I learned something today!
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Hop Tree?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2010, 04:02:08 AM »
The hop hornbeam tree does have fruits that look exactly like hops, hence the naming of the tree.  However, hops and hop hornbeam trees are not even remotely related, and there's no use trying to brew with these "hops" from the trees.  There are scientific reasons for the similar patterns of the leaflets/"flower petals", which are also formed in various other flowers including roses, sunflowers, etc.  Pine cones also have a very similar structure, but more woody rather than leafy.  Regardless of the reasons why.... it is pretty darn cool looking at one of these trees and thinking, holy cow, if only those were real hops......
Dave

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