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Many varieties and subspecies of Hedge Bindweed have been described that vary in regards to such characteristics as the shape of the basal lobes of their leaves, the relative sizes of their sepals and floral bracts, the relative size of their corollas, and whether 1 or 2 flowers are produced per leaf axil. These varieties and subspecies are not further discussed here, although see Mohlenbrock (2002) for a dichotomous key to those that occur in Illinois. The flowers of Hedge Bindweed are large and showy when they are fully open. They are just as attractive as many cultivated varieties of Ipomoea purpurea (Common Morning Glory). Hedge Bindweed can be readily distinguished from this latter species by the shape of its leaves, which are sagittate-triangular or hastate-triangular with angular to rounded basal lobes. In contrast, the leaves of Common Morning Glory and 2 native species, Ipomoea pandurata (Wild Sweet Potato) and Ipomoea lacunosa (Small White Morning Glory), are more cordate in shape. Another common species, Convolvulus arvensis (Field Bindweed), differs by having smaller sagittate leaves with narrow basal lobes, and its funnelform flowers are also smaller in size (less than 1½" across).

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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