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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Field Bindweed

Scientific Name: Convolvulus arvensis L.

Other Names: liseron des champs, European bindweed, Small-flowered morning-glory, Wild morning-glory, liseron

Family: Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)

General Description: Perennial reproducing by seed and by an underground root system.

Habitat: Field bindweed occurs throughout Ontario in cultivated fields, gardens, lawns, roadsides, and waste places.

Seedlings

  • Cotyledons opposite, round and notched at the end

Stems

  • Slender
  • Smooth or pubescent or very finely hairy
  • Usually twining or curling
  • Prostrate or climbing on any nearby object

Leaves

  • Leaves are alternate (1 per node)
  • With short or long stalks
  • Variable in form but commonly arrowhead-shaped with 2 basal lobes and smooth margins
  • Sometimes long and narrow, or broader and nearly round except for the 2 basal lobes
  • Stalkless

Flowers and Fruit

  • Flowers on long stalks from axils of leaves, always with a pair of small, narrow, green bracts on the flower stalk some distance below the flower
  • Flowers have 5 small green sepals and a white to pinkish funnel-shaped corolla 2-2.5cm (1 in.) in diameter when fully opened
  • Seedpods are roundish, about 5mm long containing 1 to 4 seeds each of which is about 3mm long, pear-shaped and 3-angled with 1 side rounded and with tiny grayish bumps
  • Flowers from mid-June until autumn

Roots and Underground Structures

  • An extensively spreading and very persistent, whitish underground root system.

Often Confused With / Distinguishing Features
It is often confused with hedge bindweed and wild buckwheat. It is distinguished from hedge bindweed, which also has perennial roots, by its smaller leaves, flowers usually not over 2.5cm in diameter, and the 2 small bracts near the middle of the flower stalk, these tiny bracts never enclosing the base of the flower. It is distinguished from Wild buckwheat by being perennial with extensively creeping, white, cord-like, fleshy roots which produce new shoots and form dense patches; by its white or pinkish, funnel-shaped flowers with long stalks, and by the absence of an ocrea (membranous sheath) surrounding the stem at the base of each leafstalk.

Management Options

Controlling field or hedge bindweed is a challenge, because of its extensive, perennial root system. Because bindweed grows in patches, a systemic herbicide with glyphosate (eg. Roundup) can be effectively used as a spot spray. The key is to wait until bindweed shows first bloom (bud to full bloom), and use a 2% solution (2L Roundup in 100L water). Established patches usually take at least two applications in subsequent years for complete control.

Before herbicides, growers used two years of summer fallow with cultivation every 10 days to eradicate bindweed. This shows the reserves in its extensive root system.

Your best dollars will be spent each year in early summer to control new seedlings, and spot treat established patches in bloom.

References

http://www.ontarioweeds.com/weed.php?w=CONAR

Field Bindweed seedlingField Bindweed plant Field Bindweed leaf Field Bindweed flower Field Bindweed plants
Click to enlarge.