Field bindweed

Convolvulus arvensis

Keys to Identification

  • Arrowhead-shaped leaves

  • White to pink funnel-shaped flowers with two small bracts one inch below the flower base

Family

Convolvulaceae – Bindweed aka Morning Glory Family

Other Names

Creeping jenny, European bindweed, Perennial morning glory, Small flowered morning glory, Field bindweed

USDA Code

COAR4

Legal Status

Colorado Noxious Weed List C

Identification

Lifecycle

Perennial

Growth form

Forb

Flower

Flowers are bell or trumpet shaped, with 5 fused petals, white to pink, about 1 inch long

Seeds/Fruit

Round, smooth ¼ inch cone-shaped capsule with 1-4 seeds in each. About 550 seeds per plant.  May stay viable in the soil for 20-50 years

Leaves

Mature plants have arrowhead-shaped 1/2 to 2 inches long leaves Mature leaves at the base of the stem are larger than the young leaves at the stem terminal

Stems

Prostrate (grows low to the ground) twining, and grow up to 6 feet long

Roots

Taproot up to 10 feet long, extensive deep vertical and shallow lateral roots.  Rhizomes.  Vertical roots 20+ feet deep; 70% of the total root mass occupies the top 2 feet of soil. Most lateral roots are no deeper than 1 foot. Studies have shown that bindweed root and rhizome growth can reach 2 1/2-5 tons per acre

Seedling

Seed leaves (cotyledons) are nearly square with a shallow notch at the tip. Plants that arise from rhizomes (underground stems) lack these seed leaves

Similar Species

Exotics

Morning-glory – Ipomea spp
Hedge Bindweed – Calystegia speium

Natives

Wild Buckwheat – Polygonum convolvulus

Impacts

Agricultural

One of the most persistent and difficult-to-control weeds in landscapes and agricultural crops. It’s extensive root and rhizome system that makes it almost impossible to control with cultivation because it often spreads the infestation. Rhizomes are able to grow through fabric, plastic, and other barriers. It is very drought tolerant and once established is difficult to control even with herbicides

Ecological

 

Human

Persistent perennial development, combined with root fragmentation causes significant financial and productivity concerns in home gardens, yards and landscape areas

Habitat and Distribution

General requirements

Found in disturbed sites, pastures, rights-of-way, agricultural lands, orchards, vineyards,  lawns and gardens

Distribution

Throughout the US, less prevalent in the southeast

Historical

Introduced to North America from Eurasia as an ornamental and for medicinal purposes in the mid-1700″s

Biology/Ecology

Life cycle

Perennial

Mode of reproduction

Seed and vegetatively. Extensive roots as deep as 14 feet and rhizomes can grow new plants from buds and when fragmented. This extensive underground network allows for overwintering without foliage, and it can persist for many years in the soil

Seed production

Mature plants can produce up to 500 seeds per plant 

Seed bank

Seed may last in the soil for 20-50 years

Dispersal

Dispersed by animals, birds, equipment, seed contaminants and humans

References

Authors: S. D. Wright, UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare/Kings Co.; C. L. Elmore, Plant Sciences emeritus, UC Davis; and D. W. Cudney, Botany and Plant Sciences emeritus, UC Riverside. Produced by UC Statewide IPM Program, University of California, Davis, CA 95616

Colorado Department of Agriculture. 2020. Field Bindweed fact sheet. – https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agconservation/field-bindweed

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. – http://www.itis.gov

USDA-USFS Fire Effects Information System (FEIS). “Convolvulus arvensis”.  – https://www.feis-crs.org/feis/

PLANTS Database – https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=COAR4

High Plains Integrated Pest Management – https://wiki.bugwood.org/HPIPM:Field_bindweed

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