Convolvulus arvensis

Field Bindweed

Botanical description: Field bindweed forms a dense, tangled mat of vegetation that covers the ground, twines through other plants, and twists around the wires of chain link fences. As a pioneer plant on disturbed sites, Convolvulus arvensis prefers sunny bare ground and heat to germinate but it is adaptable on a range of sites, from fertile ground to compacted, lean soils. This perennial vine has deep, thick roots that can spread deep and grow horizontally through a lateral root system, making it a fierce competitor for limited resources. Any part of the rhizomatous root system separated from the parent can form a new plant, which frequently happens when the roots are disturbed, or an attempt is made at “weeding.” Its leaves bear an arrowhead appearance, with two pointed lobes. Flowers resemble morning glory, though they are much smaller and a pale pinkish white. Blooms appear for only one day, opening in the morning and fading by noon. The next step in their life cycle is to make seed, which they do with exuberance. Seeds are spread by water, birds and animals. This plant offers seemingly no positive ecological services and it has been proved to be resistant to many herbicides and is equally difficult to eradicate by hand.