Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by rootstocks. Time of bloom: June to August. Seed-time: Late July to October. Range: Nova Scotia to Minnesota, southward to the Carolinas, Missouri, and Nebraska, Habitat: Cultivated ground, fence rows, thickets, waste places.
Nearly as obnoxious as the smaller Field Bindweed, and about as hard to control; its rootstocks, however, are larger and not so brittle; the trailing or twining stems are three to ten feet or more in length. Leaves smooth, long, triangular halberd-shaped, the basal lobes diverging and truncate; petioles slender, usually shorter than the blades. Flowers solitary, about two inches long, the corollas flaring funnel-shaped, pink, with white stripes, or clear white, lifted on slender axillary four-angled peduncles, often five or six inches in length. Just below the flower and overlapping and concealing its five-lobed calyx is a pair of large, heart-shaped bracts, which are persistent and enfold the fruit. Capsule globular and may contain four seeds, but often only two or three are fertile; the seeds are angular kidney-shaped, about an eighth of an inch long, dark brown. They retain vitality for several years. (Fig. 225.)
Fig. 225. -Hedge Bindweed (Convolvulus sepium). X 1/4.
Persistently starve the rootstocks by the frequent close cutting of the stems. This weed is an argument against any more fences than are an absolute necessity. It loves the mellow soil of a cornfield and, though it may be well fought until the corn crop attains full stature, too often the later growth is neglected; after the "ears begin to fill" the pest is permitted to mature seed as well as to make sufficient leaf-growth to restock the pernicious underground storehouses with food for another year. There can be no such relaxing of the struggle if the weed is to be suppressed; it must be cut and again cut until the corn is laid by. Other measures, such as are advised for Field Bindweed, may also be used for this plant.