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black bindweed, climbing bindweed, climbing knotweed, Eurasian black bindweed, ivy bindweed

bindweed, false-buckwheat, fleeceflower, knotweed

Habit Herbs, annual, not rhizomatous, 0.5–1 m.

scandent or sprawling, branched proximally, herbaceous, puberulent, sometimes mealy, not glaucous.

erect to scandent, rarely procumbent, glabrous or pubescent.


ocrea persistent or deciduous, tan or greenish brown, cylindric, 2–4 mm, margins oblique, face not fringed with reflexed hairs and slender bristles at base, otherwise glabrous or scabrid;

petiole 0.5–5 cm, puberulent in lines;

blade cordate-ovate, cordate-hastate, or sagittate, 2–6(–15) × 2–5(–10) cm, base cordate, margins wavy, scabrid, apex acuminate, abaxial face usually mealy and, rarely, minutely dotted, not glaucous, adaxial face glabrous.

deciduous, cauline, alternate, petiolate;

ocrea persistent or deciduous, chartaceous;

petiole base articulated, extrafloral nectaries sometimes present;

blade broadly ovate to triangular, margins entire or wavy.


axillary, erect or spreading, spikelike, 2–10(–15) cm, axes puberulent;

peduncle 0.1–10 cm or absent, glabrous or scabrid distally in lines.

terminal and spikelike, or terminal and axillary and paniclelike or racemelike, pedunculate or not.


ascending or spreading, articulated distally, 1–3 mm, glabrous or, rarely, scabrid.



bisexual, 3–6 per ocreate fascicle;

perianth nonaccrescent, greenish white, often with pinkish or purplish base, 3–5 mm including stipelike base, glabrous or outer 3 with blunt, hyaline hairs;

tepals elliptic to obovate, apex obtuse to acute, outer 3 obscurely keeled;

stamens 8;

filaments flattened proximally, glabrous;

styles connate distally;

stigmas capitate.

bisexual, or bisexual and unisexual, some plants with bisexual flowers, other plants with only pistallate flowers 1–5 per ocreate fascicle, base stipelike;

perianth usually accrescent in fruit, pale green or white to pink, campanulate, glabrous or, rarely, with blunt, hyaline hairs;

tepals 5, connate nearly completely or only basally, petaloid, dimorphic, outer 3 winged or keeled, larger than inner 2;

stamens 6–8;

filaments distinct, free, glabrous or pubescent proximally;

anthers yellow to pink or red, ovate to elliptic;

styles 3, spreading, connate basally or nearly completely;

stigmas capitate, fimbriate, or peltate.


included, black, 4–5(–6) × 1.8–2.3 mm, dull, minutely granular-tuberculate, especially on faces; fruiting perianth glabrous or with blunt, hyaline hairs, wings absent or, rarely, flat to undulate, 0.4–0.9 mm wide at maturity, scarcely decurrent on stipelike base, margins entire.

included or exserted, brown to dark brown or black, not winged, 3-gonous, glabrous.


embryo straight.


or herbs, annual or perennial;

roots fibrous or woody;

sometimes rhizomatous.


= 10, 11.


= 40.

Fallopia convolvulus


Phenology Flowering May–Oct.
Habitat Cultivated ground, waste places
Elevation 0-2700 m (0-8900 ft)
from FNA
AK; AL; AR; AZ; CA; CO; CT; DC; DE; FL; GA; IA; ID; IL; IN; KS; KY; LA; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; MT; NC; ND; NE; NH; NJ; NM; NV; NY; OH; OK; OR; PA; RI; SC; SD; TN; TX; UT; VA; VT; WA; WI; WV; WY; AB; BC; MB; NB; NL; NS; ON; PE; QC; SK; YT; SPM; Greenland; Eurasia [Introduced in North America; introduced in South America (Argentina, Chile), Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Republic of South Africa), Pacific Islands (Hawaii, New Zealand), Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
South America; North America (including Mexico); Europe; Asia; Africa
[BONAP county map]

Fallopia convolvulus can be an aggressive weed in crop fields. Rare plants with winged fruiting perianths have been named var. subalata; that characteristic often varies within populations.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Species ca. 12 (8 in the flora).

Chromosome number and habit traditionally have been used to separate Fallopia (x = 10; climbing or sprawling, fibrous-rooted annuals and perennials) from Reynoutria (x = 11; erect, rhizomatous perennials). J. P. Bailey and C. A. Stace (1992) presented evidence to the contrary. Fallopia often is included in a broader concept of Polygonum but is distinguished by a syndrome of anatomical and morphological characters (K. Haraldson 1978; Hong S. P. et al. 1998; L.-P. Ronse Decraene and J. R. Akeroyd 1988; Ronse Decraene et al. 2000). Molecular data confirm its close relationship to Polygonum in the narrow sense (A. S. Lamb Frye and K. A. Kron 2003).

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Stigmas fimbriate; stems erect
→ 2
1. Stigmas capitate or peltate; stems usually trailing, twining, scandent, sprawling, or climbing, rarely erect
→ 4
2. Leaf blades with hairs along veins on abaxial face distinctly multicellular, 0.2-0.6 mm, bases of blades cordate
F. sachalinensis
2. Leaf blades with hairs along veins on abaxial face unicellular or appearing so, shorter than 0.1 mm, or veins scabrous, bases of blades truncate to attenuate or cordate
→ 3
3. Leaf blades obscurely puberulent along some veins abaxially, tips of hairs acute, bases of blades truncate to cordate
F. ×bohemica
3. Leaf blades obscurely scabrous along some veins abaxially, tips of hairs blunt, bases of blades truncate to attenuate
F. japonica
4. Plants perennial; stems woody, climbing
F. baldschuanica
4. Plants annual or perennial; stems herbaceous, scandent or sprawling. [5. Shifted to left margin.—Ed.]
→ 5
5. Ocreae bases fringed with reflexed hairs and slender bristles
F. cilinodis
5. Ocreae bases glabrous or scabrid
→ 6
6. Achenes minutely granular-tuberculate, dull; fruiting perianths glabrous or with blunt, hyaline hairs, wings absent or, rarely, 0.4-0.9 mm wide; plants annual
F. convolvulus
6. Achenes smooth, shiny; fruiting perianths glabrous, wings (0.7-)1.5-2.1 mm wide; plants perennial or annual
→ 7
7. Plants perennial or annual; fruiting perianth wings decurrent on stipelike base, undulate or crinkled, rarely flat, margins wavy-crenulate to incised or lacerate, rarely entire
F. scandens
7. Plants annual; fruiting perianth wings usually truncate to attenuate-decurrent on stipelike base, flat or, less often, undulate or crinkled, margins entire or rarely undulate-crenate
F. dumetorum
Source FNA vol. 5, p. 545. FNA vol. 5, p. 541. Authors: Craig C. Freeman, Harold R. Hinds†.
Parent taxa Polygonaceae > subfam. Polygonoideae > Fallopia Polygonaceae > subfam. Polygonoideae
Sibling taxa
F. baldschuanica, F. cilinodis, F. dumetorum, F. japonica, F. sachalinensis, F. scandens, F. ×bohemica
Subordinate taxa
F. baldschuanica, F. cilinodis, F. convolvulus, F. dumetorum, F. japonica, F. sachalinensis, F. scandens, F. ×bohemica
Synonyms Polygonum convolvulus, Bilderdykia convolvulus, F. convolvulus var. subalata, Reynoutria convolvulus, Tiniaria convolvulus Bilderdykia
Name authority (Linnaeus) Á. Löve: Taxon 29: 300. (1970) Adanson: Fam. Pl. 2: 277, 557. (1763)
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