Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium)


The pure white form is by far the more common; we have recently seen a beautiful bicolor, but the pure white is as elegant as a wedding gown. We may curse this weed when it invades our hedges and gardens, but even the most heartlessly intolerant gardener probably sneaks an admiring look at the flowers when no one is paying attention. These flowers were blooming in a little patch of dirt along Carson Street in the middle of the South Side.

Gray makes Calystegia (which he apparently named) a division of the genus Convolvulus. He describes the genus, division, and species:

CONVOLVULUS [Tourn.] L. BINDWEED. Corolla funnel-form to campanulate. Stamens included. Capsule globose, 2-celled, or imperfectly 4-celled by spurious partitions between the 2 seeds, or by abortion 1-celled, mostly 2-4-valved. Herbs or somewhat shrubby plants, twining, erect, or prostrate. (Name from convolvere, to entwine.)

CALYSTEGIA (R. Br.) Gray. Stigmas oval to oblong; calyx inclosed in
2 broad leafy bracts.

C. sepium L. (HEDGE B.) Glabrous or essentially so; stem high-twining or sometimes trailing extensively; leaves triangular-halberd-shaped, acute or pointed, the basal lobes obliquely truncate and often somewhat toothed or sinuate-lobed or merely rounded; peduncles chiefly elongated, 4-angled; bracts rounded to sharp-acuminate at tip; corolla white or rose-color, 3-5 cm. long. (Including var. americanus Sims.) Moist alluvial soil or along streams. June-Sept. (Eurasia.)


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