Quick Facts

Quick facts

  • Originally from Eurasia and northern Africa, Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a perennial vine with a well developed rootstock that can tolerate drought.
  • With twinning stems, arrow-shaped leaves and white-pink trumpet flowers
  • It is widespread around the world and is present in all Australian states and territories except the Northern Territory.
  • It is a troublesome weed of mostly agricultural productive lands and can significantly reduce harvest yields.
  • Once established it can be a difficult weed to eradicate. 
  • An integrated control method is recommended.

What Does It Look Like?

What is it?

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a perennial herb with trailing and twining above ground stems arising from a well developed root and rhizomes (underground stems). The slender [above-ground] stems are narrowly longitudinally winged and nearly hairless. The stems can form dense tangled mats creeping over the ground or climbing over other vegetation. The mostly hairless leaves are arranged alternately along the branches on leaf stalks 0.5 to 2.5 cm long. The leaf blades are 1.5 to 6 cm long by 0.3 to 3.5 cm wide and are variable in shape, sometimes oblong to ovate (shaped like a section through the long axis of an egg and attached by the wider end) in outline, but often arrowhead-shaped with the basal leaf lobes pointing backwards or at right angles the midrib. The leaf blades becomes smaller, and the leaf stalks shorter, towards the tip of the stem.

The funnel-shaped, white to pale pink flowers have five fused petals. The flowers are solitary or arranged in clusters of two or three flowers, sometimes four, on a short stalk arising from the junction of the leaf stalk and the stem. The flowers only open for one day and usually close in dull weather.

The hairless fruit are capsules, more or less spherical in shape, 4 to 7 mm long and turn brown when mature, containing two to four seeds. The brown to dark-brown, grey-brown or black seeds are egg-shaped to triangular-shaped with one rounded and two flattened sides, 3 to 4 mm long and with a rough to warty-granular surface (Parsons 1973; Johnson 2001; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001; Navie 2004; VicFlora 2016). For further information and assistance with identification of Field Bindweed contact the Herbarium in your state or territory.

Flower colour

White, Pink

Growth form (weed type/habit)


Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat

In Australia, Field Bindweed occurs in the temperate and subtropical regions. It is mostly a weed of cultivation as well as growing along transport corridors, and in disturbed habitats in urban and rural areas. Field Bindweed will grow in a wide range of soil conditions but does best on deep, fertile, alkaline, heavier textured soils (Holm et al. 1977; Johnson 2001; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). It prefers moderately moist soils but will tolerate drier soils conditions. Field Bindweed is intolerant of extended periods of waterlogged soil conditions (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

Are there similar species?

Australian Bindweed (Convolvulus erubescens) and Small-flowered Bindweed (Convolvulus microsepalus) are native Convolvulus species that closely resembles Field Bindweed. However their flowers are smaller (Johnson 2001). 

Field Bindweed may also be confused with some native Polymerias. Polymeria pusilla has small, relatively broad leaves, often with lobed bases, and pink flowers. Polymeria calycina has broad to relatively elongated leave, also often with lobed bases. They both have sepals (leaf like structures at the base of the flower) with pointed tips and which tend to enclose the fruit, unlike in Field Bindweed. 

Greater Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) also has arrowhead-shaped leaves but large flowers (30-60 mm across) that are usually white and only occasionally slightly pink in colour. The base of the flower has two large leafy bracts (15-20 mm long) which are not present in Field Bindweed. 

Cowvine (Ipomoea lonchophylla) and common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) have different shaped leaves and smaller flowers. Cowvine has relatively elongated leaves, with slightly heart-shaped (i.e. cordate) bases, and small white flowers less than 20 mm across. Common Morning Glory has large, broad, heart-shaped or three-lobed leaves and large flowers (30-60 mm across) that are white, pink, red, purple or bluish-purple in colour. 

Climbing Buckwheat (Fallopia convolvulus) also has arrow-shaped leaves but much smaller, inconspicuous, flowers (less than 5 mm across) that are whitish or greenish in colour. Its fruit are blackish in colour (Johnson 2001; Navie 2004).

Why Is It A Weed?

What are its impacts?

Agriculture: Field Bindweed is a troublesome vine of agricultural fields throughout temperate regions of the world. It is an excellent competitor for soil moisture and can significantly reduce harvest yields in agricultural crops, and kill establishing trees and vines in orchards and vineyards. Additionally, the plant twines over crops, weighing them down, and interferes with harvesting (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). Field Bindweed can also harbour pests and diseases which can spread to and affect a number of agricultural crops (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). Field Bindweed has little or no feed value for stock and may make stock vomit, and is suspected of causing intestinal problems in horses and pigs, and photosensitisation in susceptible animals (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001; California Department of Food and Agriculture 2008). 

Native ecosystems: It is invasive of native vegetation in riparian zones (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

How does it spread?

Field Bindweed reproduces both by seed and vegetatively from underground stems (rhizomes). Individual plants of Field Bindweed can expand their radius up to10 m per year if left undisturbed. The seeds have no specialised dispersal mechanism and mostly fall near the parent plant. Longer distance dispersal of seeds can be through water movement, and agricultural activities by the movement of contaminated soil, machinery, fodder and grain. Seeds may potentially pass through animal digestive systems in a viable state and be spread through movement of stock or wildlife, or their manure. Field Bindweed can also be dispersed through movement of root and rhizome fragments on machinery (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

What is its history in Australia?

It is not known exactly how Field Bindweed was introduced to Australia. The first confirmed record of Field Bindweed in Australia is from Parramatta (New South Wales) in 1869. Other early records from Australia come from Hobart (Tasmania) in 1877, Southern Grampians (Victoria) in 1892, and Mount Gambier (South Australia in 1895 (AVH 2021). It has become widespread in most of the major cultivation regions of temperate Australia and northwards central Queensland (Johnson 2001).

How To Manage It?

Best practice management

Field Bindweed is a difficult weed to eradicate once established due to regeneration from rhizomes (underground stems) and long-lived seeds. It is not as important a problem in native vegetation as it is in agricultural areas. Only seedlings and young plants are susceptible to herbicides.

Prevention: Prevention of introduction and spread is a vital part of control and management of the plant. Once plants are established an effective control program should prevent seed production, kill roots and root buds, and prevent infestation by seedlings from the persistent soil seed bank. The area also must be managed in such a way that prevents the further spread of seed or plant parts to unaffected areas.

Chemical control: Seedlings and young plants are fairly susceptible to herbicides, however well established plants are able to regenerate from the extensive root system. Herbicide control of Field Bindweed generally requires multiple chemicals and repeated applications (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992; Zollinger & Lym 2000). In the United States of America, some strains of Field Bindweed have become resistant to some herbicides (Pheloung et al. 1999).

Please see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for chemical information http://www.apvma.gov.au

It is suggested that the best control of Field Bindweed is an integrated approach including a combination of tillage, herbicides treatments and competitive crops (Holm et al. 1977; Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992; Zollinger & Lym 2000). Other management tools include flooding and biological control agents. Field Bindweed is killed when covered to a depth of 15 to 25 cm with water for 60 to 90 days (Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992).

Biological control: There are a number of biological agents in use or being evaluated in North America (California Department of Food and Agriculture (2008). However, there are currently no registered biological control agents for Field Bindweed in Australia and the species is not a Target for Biological Control in Australia.

Does it have a biological control agent?


When does it grow? (lifecycle/growth calendar)

Field Bindweed is a perennial that produces an extensive system of deep roots and rhizomes. During cold periods and droughts the plants can die back to the rootstock. New growth is produced from the rootstock when favorable conditions return (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). In Australia, flowering occurs mainly from October to March, while fruits are most frequent from March to April (Johnson 2001). Seeds mature within two weeks of pollination (Parchoma 2002). In the field, young plants seldom produce seed in the first season (California Department of Food and Agriculture 2008). Seed set is highly variable depending on light and soil moisture conditions (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001). Seeds are hard coated, and in field conditions can remain viable in the soil for 20 years or more (Holm et al. 1977). Seeds germinate throughout the year, but peak germination usually occurs in spring through early summer and autumn (Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001).

Where Is It Found?

Which states and territories is it found?


What areas within states and territories is it found?

Field Bindweed is present in all Australian states and territories except the Northern Territory. It is widespread in cultivated lands in south-eastern Australia from near Marlborough, central Queensland southward through New South Wales to western Victoria. Field Bindweed is also recorded throughout Tasmania; in south-western Western Australia where it is recorded from Perth to Bunbury and inland to Boyup Brook and near Wandering; and in south-eastern South Australia from near Port Lincoln, Adelaide and southern Lofty Ranges (AVH 2021; Hyde-Wyatt & Morris 1975; Johnson 2001; Parsons & Cuthbertson 2001; Western Australian Herbarium 1998-).

Where does it originate?

Field Bindweed is a native of Eurasia and northern Africa but is now widespread through temperate regions of the world (Johnson 2001; GRIN 2008).

National And State Weed Listings

Is it a Weed of National Significance (WONS)?


Where is it a declared weed?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the National Alert List for Environmental Weeds?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the Agricultural Sleeper List?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Names And Taxonomy

Main scientific name

Convolvulus arvensis

Other scientific names (synonyms)?


Does it have other known common name(s)?

Bindweed, Common Bindweed, Morning Glory, Wild Morning Glory, Annual Bindweed, Small-flowered Morning Glory, European Bindweed, Creeping Jenny, Perennial Morning Glory, Field Morning Glory, Lesser Bindweed, Cornbine, Corn-bind, Sheep-bind, Bellbind

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