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Convolvulus arvensis

 
Convolvulus arvensis
field bindweed
Common name field bindweed
Family convolvulaceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers white

Perennial vining invasive weed. I'm not quite sure when or how it happened – but in recent years, our garden has been overrun by field bindweed. We've had hedge bindweed for longer than that, but although I've not been able to eradicate it, it hasn't grown nearly as aggressively, so it's hard too hard to live with. Field bindweed, on the other hand, is just plain awful. It started inhabiting our asparagus patch a few years ago, moved along the vegetable garden fenceline along with its companion weed mugwort, and has now infested several areas of our ornamental gardens. You can pull and dig every last sprout popping up in late spring and feel pretty good about your efforts – only to turn away for a few days and see your desirable shrubs and perennials smothered by layers of its spade-shaped leaves, all tangled up. By that time it's too late to dig it up (at least in our densely planted borders), so all I can do is grab handfuls (which turn into wheelbarrow-fuls) of the vining growth and at least get its less aggressive neighbors some room to breath and exposure to sunshine.
The white flowers are pretty, I guess, but I try not to let them get to that stage – I really don't need any more infestation than I already have. Apparently some combinations of potent herbicides are effective against field bindweed, but application would be a challenge, given their tendency to intermingle intimately with other plants. Still, I need to try something, lest I lose control of my garden altogether.
I've observed various leaf shapes on the vines in our garden, some with a more rounded tip than the one shown in the picture here. Maybe what I have is all different forms of hedge bindweed – I'll have to do some more research...

This is a weed in our garden

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Last modified: September 19, 2012
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