Convulvulus sepia

Convulvus sepia is a rhizomatous perrenial of the Convuvulaceae family, that twines around either vegetation or objects to produce a hedge-like growth habit. The flowers large and showy at 4 to 7cm long, funnel shaped and white to pink in color. The stalk of the flower is 5 to 15 cm long and square in cross-section. Two large, heart shaped bracts enclose the calyx. The leaves are triangular to arrow shaped with pointed tips, 4 to 15cm long and dark green. Along the up to 3m long stems, the leaves are arranged alternately on long petioles. The fruit is a globe-shaped capsule, 8 to 10mm across with 2 comaprtments containing 1 or 2 round, dark brown seeds with a long dormancy.

Though the species is native to parts of North America, it is typically an introduced weedy species found in crops, fencerows and roadsides. In orchards and vineyards, C. sepia is a major problem as it entwines with the crops being produced. In agriculture, C. sepia acts as an alternate host for cucumber mosaic and tobacco streak virus, allowing pests to accumulate. The weedy nature of the species is emphasized through reproduction sexually, seeds, in addition to asexually, rhizomes.

Favorite sites of C. sepia include moist to wet habitats, especially along river bottoms or coastal marshes.

Distribution of C. sepia includes all of Canada, the eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is especially common in the Puget Sound of Washington and somtimes found on Queen Charlotte Islands.

Several common names have been given to C. sepia, including Lady‘s Nightcap, Hedge Bindweed, Devil‘s Vine, Great Bindweed, Bracted Bindweed, Wild Morning Glory, Rutland Beauty and Hedge-Lily. Two Latin synonyms have also been documented: Calystegia sepilum and Convuvulus repens.

The above photos were taken along the Alsea River of western Oregon, approximately 20 miles from Waldport, Oregon.

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References

Hitchcock, C.L. and A. Cronquist (1994) Flora of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.

Pojar, J. and A. McKinnon (1994) Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Lone Pine Publishing, Washington, Canada.

Royer, F. and R. Dickinson (2004) Weeds of the Northern U.S. and Canada. Lone Pine Publishing and University of Alberta Press, Washington and Alberta, Canada.

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