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Botanical Name :Convolvulus arvensis
Species: C. arvensis
Synonyms : Cornbind. Ropebind. Withywind. Bearwind. Jack-run’-in’-the-Country. Devil’s Garters. Hedge Bells.
Habitat :Convolvulus arvensis is native to Europe and Asia.
Convolvulus arvensis is a climbing or creeping herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.5–2 m high. The leaves are spirally arranged, linear to arrowhead-shaped, 2–5 cm long and alternate, with a 1–3 cm petiole. The flowers are trumpet-shaped, 1-2.5 cm diameter, white or pale pink, with five slightly darker pink radial stripes. Flowering occurs in the mid-summer, when white to pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers develop. Flowers are approximately 0.75-1 in. (1.9-2.5 cm) across and are subtended by small bracts. Fruit are light brown, rounded and 1/8 in. (0.3 cm) wide. Each fruit contains 2 seeds that are eaten by birds and can remain viable in the soil for decades.
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There are two varieties:
1. Convolvulus arvensis var. arvensis. Leaves broader.
2. Convolvulus arvensis var. linearifolius. Leaves narrower
Although Convolvulus arvensis produces attractive flowers, it is often unwelcome in gardens as a nuisance weed due to its rapid growth and choking of cultivated plants. It was most likely introduced into North America as a contaminant in crop seed as early as 1739, as an invasive species. Plants typically inhabit roadsides, grasslands and also along streams. Its dense mats invade agricultural fields and reduce crop yields; it is estimated that crop losses due to this plant in the United States exceeded US$377 million in the year 1998 alone.
Prefers a lighter basic soil of low to medium fertility. Bindweed is a very deep-rooting plant with a vigorous root system that extends to a considerable distance and is very hard to eradicate from the soil. Even a small piece of the root will grow into a new plant if it is left in the ground. Once established this plant soon becomes a pernicious weed. It is a climbing plant that supports itself by twining around any support it can find and can soon swamp and strangle other plants. The flowers close at night and also during rainy weather. Although visited by numerous insects, the flowers seldom set fertile seed. On sunny days the flowers diffuse a scent of heliotrope. The plant harbours tobacco mosaic virus of the Solanaceae and so should not be grown near potatoes, tomatoes and other members of that family.
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe, it germinates in the autumn. This species can become a real pest in the garden so it is unwise to encourage it.
Edible Uses: Condiment.
The plant has been used as a flavouring in a liqueur called ‘Noyeau’. No details are given as to which part of the plant is used.
Parts Used: Root, root resin
Cholagogue; Diuretic; Laxative; Purgative; Stings; Women’s complaints.
The root, and also a resin made from the root, is cholagogue, diuretic, laxative and strongly purgative. The dried root contains 4.9% resin. The juice of the root is used in the treatment of fevers. A tea made from the flowers is laxative and is also used in the treatment of fevers and wounds. A cold tea made from the leaves is laxative and is also used as a wash for spider bites or taken internally to reduce excessive menstrual flow.
The stem is used as a twine for tying up plants etc. It is fairly flexible and strong but not long-lasting. A green dye is obtained from the whole plant.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.