Field bindweed

Encyclopedia Article

Field bindweed                                         Convolvulus arvensis L.

Family:   Convolvulaceae (Morningglory family)                
Life cycle:  Perennial, reproduces by seed and deep vegetative rootstocks
Native status: Introduced
Habitat:  Crop fields, fence lines, landscapes                      

General description:   Twining, herbaceous vine with alternate, lanceolate leaves.  Leaves of field bindweed typically are smaller than those of hedge bindweed.  White, funnel-shaped flower with two small bracts on flower stalk.  Produces an extensive network of underground rootstocks.

Key ID traits:  Base of leaves without distinct lobe; small bracts on flower stalk (pedicel) is separate from flowers.

Similar species:   Hedge bindweed generally has larger leaves with basal lobes; wild buckwheat is an annual and has ochrea at the base of leaf petioles and inconspicuous flowers;  honeyvine milkweed has opposite leaves;  morningglory species in Iowa either have heart-shaped (tall) or three-lobed (ivyleaf) leaves.

Miscellaneous:  Field bindweed is more aggressive in crop fields than hedge bindweed; it was one of the most severe weeds in Iowa prior to introduction of synthetic herbicides.  Frequently called creeping Jenny.

Growth habit of field bindweed.

Field bindweed (top) leaves lack the basal lobes present on hedge bindweed (bottom). The petiole of field bindweed is parallel to the blade, whereas on hedge bindweed the petiole comes off below the blade.

The funnelform flowers are normally white, but occasionally light pink varieties occur.

Small sepals on field bindweed pedicels.


Field bindweed is able to adapt to mowing in low-maintenance turf.