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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Wild Buckwheat

Scientific Name: Polvgonum convolvulus L.

Other Names: renouée liseron, Black bindweed, Climbing bindweed, Corn bindweed, faux liseron, sarrasin sauvage

Family: Buckwheat or Smartweed Family (Polygonaceae)

General Description: Annual, reproducing only by seed.

Habitat: Wild buckwheat is a common weed in cultivated fields and gardens throughout all of Ontario and its "seeds" frequently contaminate small grains.


  • Seedling with stem
  • Leaves alternate
  • Elongated cotyledons, 10- 25 mm long, underside green with pinkish blotches


  • 5 cm (2 in.) to more than 2 m (6 ½ ft) long
  • Slender
  • Prostrate or twining vine-like over other plants or any available support
  • Short ocrea (membranous sheath) at each node (joint)


  • Alternate (1 per node)
  • Arrowhead-shaped
  • Pointed basal lobes
  • Elongated slender tips


  • Small, 5 mm (1/5 in.) across
  • 5 greenish to whitish sepals (no petals), in small clusters at tips of short branches or from axils of leaves
  • Seeds:
    • Dull black
    • 3 mm (1/8 in.) long
    • Pointed at both ends but sharply triangular in cross-section
    • Often partly or wholly enclosed by the dry sepals even after shattering from the plant
  • Flowers from July to August

Often Confused With
Field Bindweed (Buckwheat is distinguished by its annual root system with thin, downward tapering taproot, the presence of an ocrea around the stem at each node, its very small, short-stalked greenish flowers, borne in the axils of leaves or in clusters along short branches, and its dark, sharply triangular seeds)

Wild buckwheat seedling Young wild buckwheat plant Wild buckwheat Wild buckwheat. A. Base of plant. B. Portion of stem twining around another stalk. C. Section of stem with leafstalk, ocrea and 2 flowers
Click to enlarge.