The simple beauty of a very common flower

What I thought was a particularly pretty hedge bindweed flower.  Found it growing with lots of others in the moat that is Solomon’s Creek running through the soccer fields.  Moat to us but rich, nutritious rich heaven to flowers.hedge

Bindweed vines usually have showy flowers with triangular outline leaves. Hedge Bindweed is a native perennial vine that can be partially erect but needs to climb on something as the vine can grow to ten feet. Stems will be green to reddish-green and either angled or ridged. This vine, like all true bindweeds, twines counterclockwise.

The leaves are triangular, half again as long as broad, with a pair of auricles at the base which can often form an arrowhead shape or a rounded-off base to the leaf. The leaf stalk is half as long as the mid-leaf vein or longer. Slightly different forms of leaf will be found on the same plant.

The inflorescence is a slender flowering stalk, rising from a leaf axil, carrying usually only one bud. These can occur at several places along the stem.

Each flower has a funnel shaped white corolla (can be pinkish or with a pink tinge as photo below shows), formed by 5 united shallow lobes. The lobe edges are a bit ragged and flare outward making the open flower a trumpet shape, 2-1/2 to 3 inches wide and 1-1/2- to 2-3/4 inches long. The inside base of the corolla has a yellow throat and deep inside are the 5 stamens and the pistil with a divided white style. The stamens are tightly appressed around the style. The calyx at the base of the flower is much smaller, has 5 sepals of about equal size and with 2 large green bracts at the base of the calyx that hide the sepals and sort of form a cup. This is a distinguishing characteristic of the genus.

Seeds are brown and ovate shape about 5 mm across.

Habitat: You will find Hedge Bindweed in moist to slightly dry meadows and disturbed places. It grows from a rhizome and fibrous roots and prefers full sun. Long tongued bees are the primarily pollinators. The flowers close during dull weather, but not for a shower.

The parts of the various other common names relate to the plant commonly being found in hedges in the Old World; it looks like a morning glory; the bracts at the base of the calyx which cover it and the entire bud before flowering lead to ‘hooded’; ‘False’ is more obscure as the plant is a bindweed, but perhaps it has to do with the counterclockwise twining, which is ‘false’ compared to other vines, but not to the bindweeds.

Comparisons: Do not confuse this plant with the smaller Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis. See comparison below. Another similar plant is Low Bindweed, Calystegia spithamaea, which has similar flowers but only grows to 20 inches and has a more oblong leaf. Another plant that is not a vine but has large trumpet white flowers is the poisonous Jimsonweed, Datura stramonium, but it is rarely found in the wild in Minnesota.

Author: luzerne2112

As I get older -- and I'm 70 now -- I seem to find more and more that nature is the true source of peace, inspiration and, most of all, the truth the passeth understanding. Though my knowledge is sketchy and superficial, I wanted to share it while I can.

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