Polygonum convolvulus

Scientific Name Polygonum convolvulus L.
Synonyms Bilderdykia convolvulus (L.) Dumort, Fallopia convolvulus (L.) A. Löve
Common Names English: Black bindweed, wild buckwheat; German: Windenknöterich; French: Renouée liseron; Spanish: Polígono trepador, albohol
Description Annual, winding weed with branching, deep-sinking roots. Before flowering, it is easily confused with field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis). The plant grows 20 - 150 cm (7.87 - 59.05 inch) tall.

Descriptions

Characteristic Features

Triangular/arrow-shaped leaves with downward-pointing, teardrop-shaped tip; creeping growing habit.

Cotyledons

Long, narrow, the two halves unequal in size. Cotyledons bend downwards (field bindweed has heart-shaped, long-stemmed cotyledons).

Stems

Thin, single or ramified, twisting, 20-100 cm (7.87 - 39.37 inch) long or high.

Leaves

Cordate-sagittate, petiolate, juicy green, often reddish-tinged, pinnate-nerved, with ligule often incised.
Leaf tips retracted downwards.

Propagation Organs

Flowers

Small, inconspicuous, short-pedunculate, greenish, white-margined, in pairs or several in the axils.

Flowering Period

Summer-autumn.

Fruit

Black, triangular.

Seeds

Germination in spring. The germination depth is from 0.5-4 cm (0.19 - 1.57 inch). The seeds are encased in the brown remnants of the perianth and hard with an impermeable seed coat and very high starch content.
Wild buckwheat is a late germinator.

Viability of Seeds

Up to 20 years or more.

Propagation

By seed.
Approx. 100-1,000 seeds per plant.

Occurrence

Habitat

Waste ground, disturbed sites, open woods, roadsides, railroads, fence rows.

Soil

Particularly on nutrient-rich, moderately acidic, light to medium-heavy soils, including boggy soils.

Additional Crop Information

Spring cereals.

Agricultural Importance

One of the most common weeds in cereals and root crops. Due to its winding growth habit, it seriously reduces yields and interferes with combine harvesting. It sometimes forms a very dense weed layer that strongly competes with the crop. Wild buckwheat may cause skin irritation after dermal contact and photosensitivity in cattle after heavy ingestion.

Control

Useful non-chemical contribution to Integrated Weed Management

Combinations of preventive, physical and chemical control methods.

Chemical Control

Various herbicides using different modes of action including some auxin mimics and several ALS-inhibitors offer acceptable to good efficacy. It is important to rotate modes of actions in order to avoid resistant weed populations.

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