#315 Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)

14 January 2021

Formerly Convolvulus sepium – a species of bindweed, with a subcosmopolitan distribution throughout the temperate Northern and Southern hemispheres.

It is an herbaceous perennial that twines around other plants, in a counter-clockwise direction, to a height of up to 2–4 m, rarely 5 m. The pale matte green leaves are arranged spirally, simple, pointed at the tip and arrowhead shaped, 5–10 cm long and 3–7 cm broad.

The flowers are white, or pale pink with five darker stripes, produced from late spring to the end of summer. In the bud, they are covered by large bracts which remain but scarcely overlap and do not cover the sepals of the open flower. The open flowers are trumpet-shaped, 3–7 cm diameter, white, or pale pink with white stripes. After flowering the fruit develops as an almost spherical capsule 1 cm diameter containing two to four large, black seeds that are shaped like quartered oranges. The seeds disperse and thrive in fields, borders, roadsides and open woods.

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