(Humulus lupulus – Family Moraceae)
Although hops do not belong to the Lily family, their sprouts are very like young asparagus in appearance, taste, and preparation. The plant above the ground dies off in the fall, but the roots are able to withstand frost and produce shoots the following spring. It is these shoots that supply the hop sprouts that are highly regarded as a vegetable in the Middle Ages and still play a small role in France, Belgium, and Italy because of their fine taste. They must, however, be painstakingly harvested by hand so that they do not break. They should be no more than three inches long and white to yellowish, but never green in colour.