Field bindweed is a perennial that was introduced to North America by Europe. The plant grows distinct white or pink flowers with five fused petals that form a trumpet shape, growing from the leaf axils and blooming from late spring to fall. Its arrowhead-shaped leaves grow on vines with hard green stems that wrap themselves around nearby plants, causing the weed to be invasive to crops and pastures, lawns, gardens, and roadsides. The plant can also be identified by the two small bracts that form just below the flower. The flowers develop brown seed pods that each contain up to four seeds and can have a long dormancy of up to 60 years.
With an extensive root and rhizome system, the deep taproot can reach a vertical depth of up to 20 feet with many lateral roots within a foot deep in soil, forming along the taproot and spreading up to 30 inches radially, often turning downward to become additional vertical roots.
Due to the plant’s extensive root system, drought tolerance, and seed resilience, this noxious weed is one of the more difficult ones to eradicate. A long-term integrated pest management approach is more likely to be successful in the management of field bindweed. Effective control can be achieved with the combination of preventing seed production and targeting its deep root system with an herbicide such as Tordon 22K.