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Weeds or just unwanted flowers

Field Bindweed or Convolvulus arvensis

Bindweed, (morning glory) a very common weed in our gardens and parks up and down the country. It is a broadleaved rhizomatic perennial plant with a long fleshy root system which makes it very troublesome (or successful depending on your point of view) to gardeners. It is prolific and climbs through and over established plants and shrubs and if left undeterred it will eventually completely choke the host plant. It will spread via seeds or root system.

Identification:

It has distinctive heart shape leaves that produce a trumpet shape flower in summer that are rather attractive. It climbs up and winds around plants in an anticlockwise direction. But don’t be fooled by this! it will take over your garden.

Managing it:

The best time is in spring as it first emerges, if you gently dig it out with a fork you can unearth the long root system and remove. Then just keep an eye out for it as the season continues and continue to dig it out, taking as much root as possible with it. It will re-establish from any piece of root left in the ground. Do not compost this as the root will not break down.

Personally I try not to use chemicals, however you can put a cane in the ground beside it and allow it to grow up the cane and then spray the leaves with Glyphosate which it will take down into its root system and kill it completely. Be careful to avoid the plants you want to keep.

Author Sylvia Cordell Cultivate London Community Project Manager

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