Bindweed by Vanessa Armstrong

I was going to study Moonflower as a topic for my blog as I wondered if it was a relative of bindweed – what is classed as a nuisance plant in most gardens. It turns out it is related, but as it sometimes happens with these things, Moonflower wasn’t resonating with me at all and I kind of felt a bit sorry for this Bindweed plant – pretty flowers, not so nice name.

I can understand why it is detested by gardeners so much – it strangles pretty much any plants it comes across in order to reach its destination and even then, it keeps on growing.

Strangely enough, I find it quite a beautiful plant and if you’re in the countryside you are bound to see it in the hedgerows climbing its way over everything to be seen, so I decided to look into this plant to see what magical properties it holds.

Hedge Bindweed or Calystegia Sepium is a very invasive plant which grows throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America. It is an herbaceous perennial and grows very fast – its shoots or vines twisting in a counter-clockwise direction around anything to a height of around 2-4 metres. It has pale green leaves and large beautiful white trumpet-shaped flowers.

There are other varieties of bindweed that are native to these countries – you may have spotted a similar plant with smaller pink trumpet flowers which grows in a similar fashion.

Hedge Bindweed also has a variety of nicknames – they include: Old Man’s Nightcap, Wild Morning Glory, Brides Gown, White Witches Hat and Wedlock – which refers to the binding nature of the vine.

Its vines aren’t the only thing about this plant that grow fast! Underground, the root system known as rhizome, run fast under the soil and produces lots of new shoots which poke up from the surface and Hey Presto! – Another new plant!

This root system together with the fact that the seeds can survive up to 30 years does make it a very troublesome species.

Don’t for one minute assume that you can contain it in a pot either. Once the seed pods emerge after flowering, these disperse far and wide -either by the winds or through bird droppings – and before you know it, it’ll be all over your garden.