Australian Bindweed

Convolvulus erubescens Sims

Family: Convolvulaceae.

Names:

Australian Bindweed

Other names:

Australian Dodder
Blushing Bindweed
Morning Glory
Pink Bindweed

Summary:

Hairy and often greyish creeping or twining perennial vines with narrow-lobed leaves and pink funnel shaped flowers.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Very variable between plants but usually consistent on an individual. Alternate.
Petiole - Variable length, 10-20 mm long. Occasionally absent. Hairy.
Blade - Grey to green, 15-40 mm long, 10-30 mm wide. Egg shaped to oblong overall and divided into narrow lobes. Lobes at the base or notched where the petiole joins. Larger central lobe may be toothed or divided. The whole leaf may be variously cut and lobed. Usually has shortly toothed bent back lobes near he base. Base indented. Surface hairy, often almost silver with hairs in desert specimens. Upper leaves may be undivided.

Stems:

Slender. Low lying, creeping, trailing or twining. Sometimes forming a broad, tangled flat mat. Hairy. Often more than 1000 mm long.

Flower head:

Single to 4 flowered with leaf like bracts below the calyx and around the middle of the flower stalk or where it branches. Lower flower stalks (peduncles) 10-60 mm long arise from leaf axils. Upper flower stalks (pedicel) 5-20 mm long.

Flowers:

Bracts - 1-2 small bracts at the branching of the flower stalks (where the peduncle joins the pedicel) and on the longer pedicels where there is more than one.
Ovary - 2 stigma lobes as long as the style.
Calyx - Slightly enlarged around the capsule at maturity.
Sepals - Egg shaped. Leathery. 4-6 mm long. Acute tip. Initially hairy and becoming hairless with age. Outer ones are more hairy than inner ones.
Petals - Pink or white. 10-20 mm long and wide. With 5, spreading shallow lobes. Funnel shaped. Rarely hairy on the outside.
Stamens - 5
Anthers - 5

Fruit:

Egg shaped capsule. Usually longer than the calyx. Splits lengthwise to release seed. 2 cells, each with 2 seeds.

Seeds:

Dark brown. 4 mm long. Triangular pyramid. Usually hairy on the angles. Slightly rough to touch. Sometimes with narrow ridges.

Roots:

Thick rootstock.

Key Characters:

Sepals 5-6 mm long, with acute tips. Stigma lobes almost as long as the style.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial. Flowers all year with a flush in spring and summer.

Physiology:

Drought tolerant.

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Spring and summer in SA.
Late spring to early autumn in NSW.
October to February in Perth.
At any time of the year in WA.

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Can regrow from the crown.

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Australia.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate to arid regions.

Soil:

On all soil types.

Plant Associations:

In many different communities.

Significance:

Beneficial:

Palatable fodder.
Aboriginal food and medicine.

Detrimental:

Minor weed of pastures.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.

Management and Control:

Tolerant of grazing.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

None will be introduced because of its native plant status.

Related plants:

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) has hairless sepals and creeping rhizomes, the leaves tend to be more arrow shaped, the flowers are larger paler. It is more aggressive and less palatable.
Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas).

Plants of similar appearance:

Black Bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus) has a membranous sheath at the base of the petiole, the cotyledons are a different shape and the flowers are very different.
Greater Bindweed (Calystegia sepium) is generally larger, has the bracts just below the flower instead of half way along the flower stalk and tends to be restricted to towns.

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P150. Photos.

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P703. Diagram.

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P304. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P556. Photo.

Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #345.2.

Marchant, N.G., Wheeler, J.R., Rye, B.L., Bennett, E.M., Lander, N.S. and Macfarlane, T.D. (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P539.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information.