hedge bindweed

(Calystegia sepium)

hedge bindweed

Hedge bindweed is a common, widespread, native vine. It occurs throughout the temperate regions of both the North and South Hemispheres, including every state in the United States except Hawaii, and across southern Canada. It has been recorded in 85 of Minnesota’s 87 counties.

Up to thirteen regional subspecies and varieties have been described. Where the groups’ ranges overlap, they readily cross-pollinate, producing offspring with intergrading characteristics.


Hedge bindweed is found in wet meadows, prairies, thickets, and forest edges; on stream banks and riverbanks; and in ditches.

Flowers are produced from June to September. They open in the morning and close at night, but often remain open on moonlit nights. They are not fragrant. Insects may be attracted to the warmth inside the funnel, which can be 5° above the air temperature.


Hedge bindweed is a perennial vine that rises on multiple stems from a deep, creeping rhizome and a deep, fibrous root system. The rhizome is branched and can be over 10 long.

The stems are light green or red, hairless, freely branched, and either angled or round. They are usually awkwardly climbing over adjacent vegetation or structures (scrambling), occasionally prostrate on the ground but not rooting at the tip (trailing). The stem grows in a spiral, at least toward the tip, curving around nearby plants (twining) in a counterclockwise direction, allowing the stem to climb. They are usually 1½ to 10 long but can reach up to 13 or more.

The leaves are alternate, 2 to 4 long, and 2¾ to 3 wide. They are on leaf stalks that are always more than, usually much more than, half as long as the midvein of the attached leaf. The leaf blade is triangular in outline, arrow-shaped, pointed at the tip, and indented at the base. The basal lobes are trapezoidal and relatively spreading (directed outward). The sinus between the lobes is frequently broadly U-shaped. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is a solitary flower rising from the leaf axils above the midpoint of the stem.

The flowers are large and conspicuous. They are on 2 to 6 long flower stalks. There are two conspicuous, leaf-like appendages (bracts) at the base of the flower. The bracts are ½ to 1 long and to 1116 wide. They overlap only near the base. There are 5 petals, 5 sepals, and 5 stamens. The sepals are green, elliptic to narrowly egg-shaped, and 7 16 to long. They are more or less hidden by the bracts that subtend the flower. The petals (corolla) are fused at their base and for most of their length into a funnel-shaped tube and separated at the tip into five very shallow lobes. The corolla is usually white, sometimes pink or pinkish tinged between white ribs, and usually 1¾ to 2½ long and wide. The stamens are to 13 16long and do not protrude from the corolla. The anthers are yellow. There is 1 style with 2 stigmas.

The fruit is an egg-shaped, to long capsule with 2 to 4 seeds.


The description above refers to Calystegia sepium ssp. angulata.


Similar Species


Black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus) is a shorter vine, no more than 40 in length. The stems and leaves do not have a milky latex. The leaf stalk has an ocrea at the base. The flower is small, to 3 16 long, and not showy. The fruit is an achene.

Common morning-glory (Ipomoea purpurea) has rounded, heart-shaped, not triangular, arrow-shaped, leaves. The basal lobes of the leaf blade are broadly rounded, not squared off or pointed. The flower is blue to purple.

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a smaller plant. The leaves are smaller, 1 to 2 in length. The basal lobes of the leaf blade are pointed, not trapeziodal. The bracts are much smaller and are positioned on the stem well below the inflorescence. The flowers are smaller, 1 or less long and wide.

Ivy-leaved morning-glory (Ipomoea hederacea) has 3-lobed leaves. The flower is blue to purple.

Low bindweed (Calystegia spithamaea) stem is erect, does not twine, and does not get over 20 long.


Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 22, 28, 29, 30.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Solanales (nightshades, bindweeds, gooseweeds, and allies)  


Convolvulaceae (bindweed)  
  Subfamily Convolvuloideae  
  Tribe Convolvuleae  


Calystegia (false bindweeds)  

Subordinate Taxa


American bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. americana)

Appalachia false bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. appalachiana)

Bingham's false bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. binghamiae)

cosmopolitan hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. erratica)

creeping hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. angulata)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. baltica)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. roseata)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. sepium)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium ssp. spectabilis)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium var. fraternuiflora)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium var. japonica)

hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium var. repens)

marsh morning glory (Calystegia sepium ssp. limnophila)




Convolvulus sepium


Common Names


creeping hedge bindweed

hedge bindweed

hedge false bindweed

larger bindweed














Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.



A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.



A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.



Climbing awkwardly over adjacent vegetation or structures.



An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.



Prostrate on the ground and creeping, but not rooting at the tip.



Growing in a spiral usually around a stem of another plant that serves as support.

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    hedge bindweed      

White Flower

    hedge bindweed      

Pinkish-tinged Flower

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    hedge bindweed      

Pink Flower

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    hedge bindweed   hedge bindweed  


    hedge bindweed   hedge bindweed  
    hedge bindweed   hedge bindweed  


    hedge bindweed   hedge bindweed  



  Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) (Convolvulus sepium)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) (Convolvulus sepium)  
  Convolvulus sepium HEDGE BINDWEED
Frank Mayfield
  Convolvulus sepium HEDGE BINDWEED  



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  Missy Stangel

Location: Cass Lake, Minnesota

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