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Black Bindweed

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A vigorous climbing plant of arable farmland but not related to the similar convolvulus family



Black Bindweed: the false bindweed

Post date: Tuesday, 18 August, 2015 - 00:00

You may be familiar with field and hedge bindweed, both common climbing or spreading plants, but although carrying some of the same characteristics as these two in terms of leaf shape, stem colour and climbing nature black bindweed (Polygonum convolvulus) is not related. Black bindweed is more closely related to the dock family than to the convolvulus family. Closer inspection  of the flowers will prove this point!

Black bindweed is a fast growing, climbing or binding, plant that entwines itself clockwise around the stems of stronger plants; it can grow to over a metre long. It is a plant almost entirely of arable fields winding its way through crops damaging the plant(s) it is climbing on and making harvesting difficult. As a result black bindweed is not a popular weed!

Apparently, like so many of our weeds, this was once an edible crop with the seeds being edible, but you need a lot of bindweed to harvest enough seed to make it viable! However, traces have been found in bronze age remains which show it was once valued even if that was around four thousand years ago.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Black Bindweed
Scientific Name Polygonum convolvulus
Family Dock family - Polygonaceae
Status Occasional
Interest Level
Species Family Dock Family - Polygonaceae
Flower Colour Group White
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
Preferred Environment
Look for Slender 'climbing' plant in fields
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
BA: Arable farmland Associated
BF: Fringes - roadsides, bare ground & wasteland Associated