Convolvulus arvensis (field bindweed) is a species of bindweed in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), native to Europe and Asia. It is a climbing or creeping herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.5–2 m high.
The leaves are spirally arranged, linear to arrowhead-shaped, 2–5 cm long and alternate, with a 1–3 cm petiole. The flowers are trumpet-shaped, 3-5 cm diameter, white or pale pink, with five slightly darker pink radial stripes. Flowering occurs in the mid-summer, when white to pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers develop. Fruit are light brown, rounded and 1/8 in. (0.3 cm) wide. Each fruit contains 2 seeds that are eaten by birds and can remain viable in the soil for decades.
Although it produces attractive flowers, it is often unwelcome in gardens as a nuisance weed due to its rapid growth and choking of cultivated plants. It was most likely introduced into North America as a contaminant in crop seed as early as 1739, as an invasive species. Plants typically inhabit roadsides, grasslands and also along streams. Its dense mats invade agricultural fields and reduce crop yields; it is estimated that crop losses due to this plant in the United States exceeded US$377 million in the year 1998 alone. In one of the tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Our Lady's Little Glass, this flower is used by Our Lady to drink wine with when she helps free a wagoner's cart. The story goes on to say that "the little flower is still always called Our Lady's Little Glass."
Field bindweed intertwines and topples native species. It competes with other species for sunlight, moisture and nutrients. It poses threats to restoration efforts and riparian corridors by choking out grasses and forbs. It can decrease habitat biodiversity. It is one of the most serious weeds of agricultural fields in temperate regions of the world.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.