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Calystegia sepium (larger bindweed, hedge bindweed, Rutland beauty, bugle vine, heavenly trumpets, bellbind) (formerly Convolvulus sepium) is a species of bindweed, with a subcosmopolitan distribution throughout the temperate Northern and Southern hemispheres.
It is an herbaceous perennial that twines around other plants, in a counter-clockwise direction, to a height of up to 2-4 m, rarely 5 m. The pale matte green leaves are arranged spirally, simple, pointed at the tip and arrowhead shaped, 5-10 cm long and 3-7 cm broad.
The flowers are produced from late spring to the end of summer. In the bud, they are covered by large bracts which remain and continue to cover sepals. The open flowers are trumpet-shaped, 3-7 cm diameter, white, or pale pink with white stripes. After flowering the fruit develops as an almost spherical capsule 1 cm diameter containing two to four large, black seeds that are shaped like quartered oranges. The seeds disperse and thrive in fields, borders, roadsides and open woods.
Several regional subspecies have been described, but they are not considered distinct by all authorities:
- Calystegia sepium subsp. americana. North America.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. angulata. North America.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. appalachiana. Eastern North America.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. binghamiae. Western North America (California).
- Calystegia sepium subsp. erratica. North America.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. limnophila. Southern North America.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. roseata. Western Europe, coasts. Flowers pink.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. sepium. Europe, Asia.
- Calystegia sepium subsp. spectabilis. Siberia. Flowers often pinkish.
Other vernacular names include greater bindweed, bearbind, hedge convolvulus, hooded bindweed, old man's nightcap, wild morning glory, bride's gown, wedlock (referring to the white gown-like flowers and the binding nature of the vine), white witches hat, belle of the ball.
Calystegia sepium is a plant with showy white flowers. However, because of its quick growth, clinging vines and broad leaves, it can overwhelm and pull down cultivated plants including shrubs and small trees. Its aggressive self-seeding (seeds can remain viable as long as 30 years) and the success of its creeping roots (they can be as long as 3-4 m) cause it to be a persistent weed and have led to its classification as a noxious weed.[who?]
- Calystegia silvatica, giant bindweed, is sometimes treated as a subspecies of C. sepium
- Convolvulus arvensis, Field Bindweed, is a similar vine with much smaller features. The rear margin leaf projections are sharp.
- The leaves of Ipomoea pandurata, Wild Potato Vine, are shaped like a heart, not like an arrowhead.