Field Bindweed

Common Name: Field Bindweed.

Scientific Name: Convolvulus Arvensis.

What to look for?  Medium-sized white funnel-shaped flowers clinging to stalks of other wildflowers. Field Bindweed is a long, twine-like vine. Long glabrous stems grow from the vine. The alternate leaves are green and arrowhead-shaped with slender petioles connecting the leaves with the stems. A flowering stalk may develop from the base of a petiole with up to three (3) flowers. The corolla, or petals, are white and in the shape of a funnel. Look for these flowers from late spring to early fall. In fall, a seed capsule, containing eight (8) seeds replaces each flower. The root system consists of a slender taproot that branches frequently. Rhizomes are also produced in abundance, so that this plant often forms vegetative colonies.

Where can they be found at Carillon Stonegate Pond? The Field Bindweed – especially its flower – pops up around our area in several locations: the edge of Arlene Shoemaker Preserve just west of the ponds, the “Redwing Blackbird nesting ground” near Farnsworth and the edge of the forest preserve off Indian Trail.

How big are they? The white flower of the Field Bindweed may be up to two (2) inches across. The twine-like vine, wrapped around other wildflowers, grows to three (3) feet in length. The arrow-shaped leaves are approximately two (2) inches long and one (1) inch across.

Where do they grow and thrive? The non-native Field Bindweed can be found across most of the continental U.S. This species was introduced from Eurasia. Habitats include fields, clay banks, areas along roadsides and railroads, vacant lots, and miscellaneous waste areas. This plant thrives in disturbed areas.

When do they bloom? The blooming period of the Field Bindweed occurs from late spring to early fall, and can span several months, although individual flowers persist for only a single day.

Do birds, insects or other wildlife associate with this plant? Bumblebees, little carpenter bees and long-tongued bees visit the flowers for nectar as well as the Morning Glory Bee. Field Bindweed is not a preferred food source for mammalian herbivores because the foliage is mildly toxic.

Interesting Facts About Field Bindweed:

  • A flower lasts only one (1) day, opening on sunny mornings and closing in the afternoon.

  • Field Bindweed is an attractive plant while it is in flower, but it can be overly aggressive and persistent.

  • The vine, like all true bindweeds, twines counterclockwise.

  • The Field Bindweed is related to the Small White Morning Glory.

  • The genus, ‘Convolvulus’, is from the Latin convolvo, meaning 'to intertwine' as the plant must wrap itself around another small object to spread, as it has no tendrils.

  • The species, ‘Arvensis’, is from the Latin arvum, 'a cornfield' which is where farmers in Europe frequently encountered this plant.

For more information on the Field Bindweed and sources of information used in this blog (these are several of the sources that I am using to learn as I blog), please visit Illinois Wildflowers, Minnesota Wildflowers, and Friends of the Wildflower Garden.

The Carillon at Stonegate community is very fortunate to have a variety of wetland, forest and prairie environments conducive to a variety of birds and other wildlife, insects and plants. Our community and the Kane County Forest Preserve do an exceptional job in maintaining this natural environment – both for the benefit of the birds and wildlife and for our residents to enjoy.

 

Take a hike and see what you can find – and identify!