Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Field bindweed is a List C vining perennial in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). Known to be in North America since the 1700s and in Colorado since 1872, it was introduced as a contaminant of seed. It can now be found in all 50 states.

Field bindweed is native to Eurasia and Asia and naturalized in many other parts of the world. It has a thick taproot that can grow to 20-30 feet deep, with multiple horizontal rhizomes that have buds to form new plants. Plants can easily regrow from root fragments.

The root mass can reach 2.5 to 5 tons per acre. The trumpet shaped flowers form in the leaf axis. Flowers form from late spring until frost. The 1-inch-wide flowers are white to pink and have two small bracts that form .5 to 2 inches below the flower. Each flower produces a roundish fruit that contains two to four seeds. The seeds can stay viable in the soil for 20+ years.

Field bindweed stems are around five feet long. They are twisted and are either prostrate or can climb and cover other plants, fences, and structures. The 2-inch long and 1-inch-wide leaves are alternate, simple and arrow shaped, smaller towards the ends of the stems. A serious pest in wheat and bean crops, it also invades vineyards, orchards, degraded range lands, landscaped areas, and lawns. Field bindweed can harbor plant diseases (potato X disease, tomato spotted wilt, and vaccinium false bottom).

Control can be done using cultural techniques and/or systemic herbicides. It requires persistent efforts over multiple years. The bindweed gall mite, Aceria malherbae, has shown some good success in areas that are grazed or mowed.

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