Hedge bindweed

Encyclopedia Article

Hedge bindweed                   Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br.

Family:   Convolvulaceae (Morningglory family)
Life cycle:  Perennial, reproduces by seed and deep vegetative rootstocks
Native status: Native to North America
Habitat:  Crop fields, fence lines, waste areas, ornamental plantings

General description:  Twining, herbaceous vine with alternate, lanceolate leaves. Leaves have distinct basal lobes, resulting in five angles. White, funnel-shaped flower with two large bracts that clasp base of flower.

Key ID traits:  Vine growth habit, alternate leaves with distinct basal lobes; large bracts at base of flowers.

Similar species:  Field bindweed generally has smaller leaves without basal lobes; wild buckwheat is an annual and has ochrea at the base of leaf petioles and inconspicuous flowers; honeyvine milkweed has opposite, heart-shaped leaves; morningglory species in Iowa either have heart- shaped (tall) or three-lobed (ivyleaf) leaves.

Miscellaneous:  The root system of hedge bindweed is less extensive than that of field bindweed, thus hedge invades crop fields and other intensively disturbed areas less frequently than field bindweed.

Hedge bindweed climbing corn.


Hedge bindweed (bottom) has distinct basal lobes, whereas field bindweed (top) lacks the lobes.

Hedge bindweed flowers have two large bracts that clasp the base.