hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)
hedge false bindweed
old man's night cap
wild morning glory
Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. subsp. americana (Sims) Brummitt
Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. subsp. angulata Brummitt
Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. subsp. sepium
Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. var. angulata (Brummitt) N. H. Holmgren
Calystegia sepium (L.) Pursh var. pubescens A. Gray
Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. var. repens (L.) A. Gray
Convolvulus nashii House
Convolvulus repens L.
Convolvulus sepium L.
Convolvulus sepium L. var. americanus Sims
Convolvulus sepium L. var. communis R. M.Tryon
Convolvulus sepium L. var. repens (L.) A. Gray
Convolvulus sepium L. var. sepium
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Pending confirmation.
TAXONOMY: The currently accepted name for hedge bindweed is
Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br. There are seven recognized subspecies of
Calystegia sepium: 1) ssp. americana (hedge false bindweed), 2) ssp.
angulata (hedge false bindweed), 3) ssp. appalachiana Brummitt (Appa-
lachia false bindweed), 4) ssp. binghamiae (Greene) Brummitt (Bingham's
false bindweed), 5) ssp. erratica Brummitt (hedge false bindweed), 6) ssp.
limnophila (Greene) Brummitt (hedge false bindweed), and 7) ssp. sepium
(hedge false bindweed). Of these seven subspecies, only subspecies bing-
hamiae and erratica have not been recorded as occurring in Virginia. The
Atlas of Virginia Flora lists Calystegia sepium without subspecies design-
ation. For the Nature Guide, subspecies sepium will be described.
NATIVE STATUS: Native and introduced, United States; Native, Canada.
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hedge bindweed
is a native perennial vine that is up to 10' long, often climbing over other
herbaceous plants and shrubs. The twining stems are light green or red,
upon which the leaves occur rather sparsely. These leaves are about 4-5"
and 2-3" across when mature. They often have an arrowhead shape, which
is deeply incised at the base. Otherwise, they are cordate, deltoid, or ovate,
with different forms occurring even on the same plant. The flowering buds
are white or light lavender, from which funnel-shaped flowers unfurl that
assume the same colors. Each flower is about 2½-3" across and has a
yellow throat, from which the sexual organs barely protrude, appearing
as a small white spike. The flowers open during the morning, and bloom
sporadically all summer during sunny weather. The root system is fibrous
and rhizomatous, and may extend into the ground up to 10'.
REGENERATION PROCESS: Hedge bindweed spreads vegetatively
and by seeds.
SITE CHARACTERISTICS: Hedge bindweed prefers full to partial
sun and moist to mesic conditions. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium
(loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic
(alkaline) soils. It tolerates poor soil, often flourishing in areas that are
rocky or gravelly. American bindweed readily climbs a trellis, fences, and
neighboring plants, while in open areas it sprawls haphazardly across the
ground. The climbing ability is the result of the stems twining tightly about
slender objects. This plant can spread aggressively and become a nuisance
in some locations.
SUCCESSIONAL STATUS: Hedge bindweed is an early and aggres-
sive invader of disturbed areas; however, because it prefers full sun, it
generally does not sustain its presence in mid- and later successional
stages when shrub/tree canopies become more prevalent.
SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT: The flowers open during the morning,
and bloom sporadically all summer during sunny weather. In natural areas,
this plant occurs at the edges of moist to mesic prairies, thickets, woodland
borders, and floodplain areas along lakes and rivers.. Habitats in developed
areas include cropland, pastures, abandoned fields, fence rows, urban waste
areas, or areas along roadsides and railroads, where it is frequently encount-
ered. Hedge Bindweed is more common in disturbed areas.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Hedge bindweed is found throughout
the continental United States and Canada, with the exceptions of Labrador
and the northern territories/provinces of Canada.
SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION:
Vine specimens can be found on trails marked in red.
Appalachian Trail/Old Trail
South Ridge/North Ridge
Rolling Meadows/ Lost Mountain
The specific distribution of hedge bindweed has not been determined.
HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES: Hedge bindweed
does well in habitats that have been disturbed; it also does well in natural
areas where there is significant moisture. There is insignificant information
as to specific plant communities associated with hedge bindweed.
IMPORTANCE AND USES: Long-tongued bees are the primary pollin-
ators of the flowers, including bumblebees, little carpenter bees, and the
oligoleges Melitoma taurea (mallow bee), Peponapis pruinosa pruinosa
(squash & gourd bee), and Cemolobus ipomoea (morning glory bee). It is
possible that day-flying Sphinx moths may visit the flowers during the
morning. All of these insects seek nectar. The foilage is eaten by the cater-
pillars of Emmelina monodictyla (common plume moth), as well as several
tortoise beetles, including Chelymorpha cassidea (argus tortoise beetle).
Mammalian herbivores tend to ignore this plant when other food sources
are available. To a limited extent, the bobwhite and ring-necked pheasant
eat the seeds.
The stalks and roots can be cooked; it has a pleasant sweet taste. Hedge
bindweed is rich in starch and sugars and is considered very nutritious.
However, it should not be eaten regularly due to its possible purgative
Crooked Run Valley