Field Bindweed

Field Bindweed, courtesy of Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Photo Courtesy of Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org
Common Name(s):
Field Bindweed
European Bindweed
Creeping Jenny
Smallflowered Morning Glory
Perennial Morning Glory
Morning Glory
Small Bindweed
Devil’s Guts
Scientific Name(s):
Convolvulus arvensis L.
Scientific Name Synonyms:
Convolvulus ambigens House
Convolvulus incancus auct. non Vahl
Strophocaulos arvensis (L.) Small
Symbol:
COAR4
Description:
Life Span: Perennial
Origin: Introduced
 
Growth Characteristics: A perennial vine with glabrous herbage. It reproduces both sexually and vegetatively. Seed germinate through the growing season when adequate moisture is available, with it reaching its peach in late spring or early summer. Plants quickly develop a taproot followed by lateral roots and numerous thin feeding roots. Rapid growth of rhizomes and shoots begins when day temperatures are near 57 degrees F. and night temperatures are at least 36 degrees F. Plants flower June through August. The prostrate plant can twine and may form dense tangled mats.
 
Flowers: Peduncles arise from leaf axils, range from 0.2 to 2.4 inches long, and bear 1 to several flowers.  Five fused petals form a long funnel-like flower, 0.6 to 1.2 inches long, and 0.9 to 1.4 inches broad.  Five stamens of unequal length are attached to the base of the corolla. The pistil is compound with two thread-like stigmas. Flowers persist only one day and are insect pollinated. 
 
Fruits/Seeds: Seed is a capsule, 5-10 mm long, bearing 1 to 4 seeds, each about 3-4 mm long.   Seed production is variable and dependent upon environmental conditions. Seeds can persist in the soil for up to 50 years. The number of seed per plant varies between 25 and 300. 
 
Leaves: Variable, mostly arrow-shaped, 0.4 to 4 inches long and 0.1 to 2.4 inches wide, with petioles 5-40 mm long, Petals are white or pink with white stripes.
 
Stems: Trailing to somewhat twining, branched, 8to 79 inches long, sometimes forming tangled mats.
 
Roots: A 2 to 10 foot taproot with large numbers of annual lateral roots that develop adventitiously throughout its length, and penetrate the soil in all directions. Shoot buds arise on these horizontal laterals and develop into rhizomes which, reaching the surface, establish new crowns. These extensive roots can measure 6.6 m long.   Lateral roots are found primarily in the top 12 inches.
Ecological Adaptations: 

Field Bindweed is native to Europe and Asia. It is successful in many types of climates, but is most troublesome for agriculture throughout the temperate zone. It is common in cultivated field and gardens, along roadsides, railroads, disturbed sites, and waste places. Outside of agricultural fields, it is most often found in moist locations on tracts once used for agriculture. The competitive ability of field bindweed is due largely to its extensive root system. One plant is able to reduce the available soil moisture in the top 24 inches of soil below the “wilting point”.  

Field bindweed has deep roots that store carbohydrates and proteins. They help field bindweed spread vegetatively and allow it to resprout repeatedly following removal of above-ground growth.   Eexudates from field bindweed roots decrease germination of some crop seeds.

Soils: Adapted to many soil types
 
Associated Species: Widespread
Uses and Management:
Field Bindweed is declared a Noxious weed in Utah. It is best controlled by repeatedly removing the stems, or by continued application of chemical herbicides.
 
Successful control is most likely if the above-ground biomass is removed (by tillage, hand-pulling or herbicide application) followed by competition from other species (e.g. from the surrounding vegetation or restoration efforts), and continuous monitoring for resprouts. In agriculture, control has been most successful where tillage is combined with herbicide application, although herbicide application alone can be effective. 2,4-D is the most widely used herbicide because it controls the weed effectively and is relatively inexpensive. Herbicide application should be applied when the herbicide will be translocated to the roots, but before seed set.