Field bindweed

Identification & Biology
Alias' : morning glory, creeping Jenny, common bindweed, field morning-glory
Latin Name : Convolvulus arvensis
Category : Terrestrial Plants
Description :
  • Perennial vine  
  • Long, trailing stems that can climb vertically, twine around other plants and grow up to 2 m long 
  • Leaves are alternating, arrowhead or triangular in shape 
  • Tubular, trumpet shaped flowers that range from light pink to white 2.5 cm across 
  • Two small leaf bracts grow about 2.5 cm below the flowerhead 
  • Fleshy, pale roots can extend up to 4 m 

 

Field bindweed is a species of bindweed that rapidly twines around other plants in a counter-clockwise direction. Its light pink to white flowers bloom in the summer, closing each afternoon and reopening the following day. Field bindweed is an aggressive seed producer. Young plants generally start producing seed in their second growing season. Seeds germinate throughout the growing season, but peak germination usually occurs mid-spring through early summer. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 30 years. Field bindweed can also reproduce vegetatively from roots, rhizomes and stem fragments.  

 Field bindweed can sometimes be confused with hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium), another invasive weed that looks and acts very similar. In comparison to field bindweed, hedge bindweed has much larger flowers and foliage. Its leaves are hairless and have a more pronounced arrow shape.  

Habitat

Native to Eurasia, field bindweed is a highly adaptive plant and can be found in a range of soil conditions, from moist to dry. Field bindweed invades fields, turf and farmland, as well as residential settings such as flower gardens, rockeries and ornamental borders. It is commonly found in disturbed areas. Field bindweed is present in the Kootenay, Okanagan, Thompson, Mainland and Vancouver Island agricultural reporting regions of BC.  

Impact & Risks
  • Field bindweed can inhibit native species growth by winding around them and choking them out, and competing for water, nutrients, and light.  
  • Can reduce crop yields and its winding stems can interfere with harvesting operations.  
Prevention & Mitigation

The most effective way to ensure that your lands do not become infested withfield bindweed is by prevention. Here are some recommendations to prevent invasion: 

  • Maintain your crops and natural lands in a healthy, vigorous condition to ensure a competitive plant community; competitive perennial grasses and forbs utilize water and nutrients that would otherwise be readily available to  field bindweed. 
  • Regularly patrol your property for  field bindweed  plants and immediately control or remove infestations before seed set. Do not leave plants to compost. 
  • Cooperate with adjacent landowners and encourage them to prevent  field bindweed  spread.  
  • Immediately re-vegetate disturbed, bare soils with a suitable seed mixture that provides dense, early colonization to prevent weed invasion.   
  • Do not move contaminated soils to a new area.   
Treatment & Disposal
  • Seedlings can be hand pulled before they establish large root systems and produce seeds. This is best done in early spring when the ground is wet.  
  • Avoid digging or tilling the soil around mature field bindweed roots as this will fragment roots and further disperse the plant.  
  • Deep plowing to turn the soil and expose the plant’s roots to the sun may be effective. 
  • Mowing is not recommended.  
  • Smothering existing plants with mulch, tarps or plastic mats can also suppress field bindweed growth. Plants may need to be covered for several years as roots will continually resprout.  
  • Chemical control is also an option. Before applying herbicides, read the label for full use and precautionary instructions.   
  • For further information on the selection and application of chemicals to protect your crop, contact  AgriService BC at 1-888-221-7141 or email  AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca.   
  • A leaf and bud galling mite, Aceria malherbae, has been released on multiple occasions as a biocontrol agent for field bindweed in BC.  There is at least one established population following a 2017 release in the Boundary area. A foliar feeding beetle, Charidotella sexpunctata bicolor, has established in coastal areas of BC. Establishment of a second foliar feeding beetle, Deloyala guttata, has not been confirmed in the province.
Okanagan Distribution

Priority Level Definitions

Watch For - Poses a significant threat (very high risk) and does NOT presently occur in the region OR is relatively new to the region and is very limited in extent.
High - High risk/impact; limited population with significant potential to spread in the region.
Medium - Medium risk/impact; limited distribution – broader population distribution with potential to spread further in a region.
Low - Low risk/impact; may be widespread or not, may be of concern in specific situations with certain high values – e.g. specific agriculture crops. Some species may be treated primarily with biological control agents.