Bindweed, Field Bindweed, Field Morning Glory, Wild Convolvulus
General: Morning Glory is a perennial vine that grows along the ground until it comes in contact with other plants or structures, then climbs aggressively.
Flowers: White to rose-purple and trumpet-shaped, 1.5 – 2.5 cm long, with 2 small leaf bracts 3 cm below the flower. Flowering is indeterminate, so flowers continue to develop until the first frost.
Stem: Slender, twining stems that can grow to 2 m long. Young stems are purple to reddish at the base
Leaves: Smooth and arrowhead-shaped, 7 – 13 cm long, and arranged alternately along the stem.
Roots: Fleshy, pale and with deep rhizomes.
Fruit: 1 cm wide round capsules.
Seeds: Black to brown, 4 – 6 mm long, oval with a granular surface.
Western Morning Glory (Calystegia occidentalis) prefers dry habitats, and its leaves are squared or indented with two lobes.
Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea spp.) has sepals that are not fused.
Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) has a less extensive root system to Morning Glory. Many experts suggest that control methods for Hedge bindweed and Morning glory are the same, so differentiation may be futile.
Habitat and Origin
Morning Glory is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and was introduced to North America during the 18th century for medicinal and ornamental use.
It grows in a wide range of conditions, from full sun to full shade, and is drought-tolerant. Invasive Morning Glory is generally found in ravines, greenbelts, forested parks and farmlands, as well as residential gardens.
Propagation & Vectors of Spread
Morning Glory reproduces both by seed and vegetatively. It can create new plants from its roots and rhizomes or from stem fragments; it also spreads laterally by sending up new shoots in the plant’s periphery, thus spreading up to 3 m in a growing season. Morning Glory can produce an average of 550 seeds per plant, and they can remain dormant in the soil for 20 or more years. Young plants generally begin producing seed in their second growing season.
Morning Glory seeds naturally fall to the ground near the parent plant, so most seeds sprout nearby. However, seeds may be dispersed greater distances by water, birds or vehicles. Morning Glory is also spread by the horticulture trade, as it is still used in ornamental gardens.
Ecological, Economic, & Health Impacts
- Threatens reforestation efforts by out-competing new plantings, creating shade and choking out native specie, thus reducing biodiversity.
- Toxic to humans and livestock when consumed in large quantities.
- Acts as an alternate host for viruses that affect crops, like Potato X Disease, Tomato Spotted Wilt and Vaccinum False Bottom.
- Reduces crop or forage yield.
- Due to its extensive root system, it can steal nutrients and water from other plants and thus increase irrigation costs in agricultural settings.
- Can impede the harvesting of annual crops because the crops become entangled with the twining stems.
What Can I Do?
Morning Glory is currently found throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor, so PREVENTION of further spread is key.
Learn to identify Morning Glory: use the images presented in this profile page to learn how to identify Morning Glory.
What to do if you spot it: You can report any Morning Glory sighting by clicking here.
- Regularly monitor properties for weed infestations.
- Ensure soil and gravel are uncontaminated before transport.
- Check wildflower mixes to ensure that they do not contain Morning Glory.
- Ensure that plants are disposed of in a garbage bag if found in floral arrangements to prevent seeds from spreading.
- Unload, park or store equipment or vehicles in infested areas; remove plant material from any equipment, vehicles or clothing used in such areas and wash equipment and vehicles at designated cleaning sites before leaving infested areas.
- Plant Morning Glory in a garden, no matter how well-contained its enclosure may seem.
- Move soil that has been contaminated with Morning Glory.
- Compost Morning Glory.
- Plants can be hand-pulled, but caution should be paid to break as few rhizomes as possible to avoid plant renegeration.
- This process will have to be repeated several times each season, for at least 2 years, to be effective long-term.
- Younger plants are more vigorous, so it is recommended to wait until seedlings have 5 – 6 leaves before pulling them.
- Glyphosate is effective for Morning Glory control when applied in the summer and fall before the leaves die back.
- Triclopyr, 2,4-D and dicamba are also effective.
- Repeated applications will likely be necessary to manage the seed bank.
We recommend that any herbicide application is carried out by a person holding a valid BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate. Before selecting and applying herbicides, you must review and follow herbicide labels and application rates; municipal, regional, provincial and federal laws and regulations; species-specific treatment recommendations, and site-specific goals and objectives.
- Aceria malherbae, a gall mite native to the Mediterranean, has been released at a few sites in BC, but is only effective at establishing in specific ecosystems.
- Farms.com, Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea), https://www.farms.com/field-guide/weed-management/morning-glory.aspx
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, Field Bindweed, https://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/subject.html?sub=4338
- Invasive Species Compendium, Convolvulus arvensis, https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/15101
- King County Noxious Weed Control Program, Field Bindweed (aka Morning Glory) https://www.nwcb.wa.gov/pdfs/Bindweed_factsheet_King.pdf
- Metro Vancouver, Best Management Practices for Hedge Bindweed in the Metro Vancouver Region, http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/regional-planning/PlanningPublications/HedgeBindweedBMP.pdf
- Nature Gate, Common Morning Glory, http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/common-morning-glory
- Texas Invasive Species Institute, Field Bindweed / Creeping Jenny, http://www.tsusinvasives.org/home/database/convolvulus-arvensis
- University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, Tall Morningglory (Ipomoea purpurea), http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/WEEDS/tall_morningglory.html
- FVISS: https://fviss.ca/invasive-plant/bindweed
- UCIPM U of California, Integrated Pest Management https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7462.html
- Metro Vancouver, http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/regional-planning/PlanningPublications/HedgeBindweedFactSheetMarch2021.pdf
While Hedge Bindweed is a different species to Morning Glory, many experts suggest that their management practices are identical.