Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed, Rutland beauty, bugle vine, heavenly trumpets, bellbind, granny-pop-out-of-bed and many others) is a species of flowering plant in the family Convolvulaceae. It has a subcosmopolitan distribution throughout temperate regions of the North and South hemispheres.

Calystegia sepium
Calystegia sepium

Secure  (NatureServe)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Convolvulaceae
Genus: Calystegia
C. sepium
Binomial name
Calystegia sepium

Convolvulus sepium L.

Calystegia sepium - MHNT



Hedge bindweed is an herbaceous perennial that twines in a counter-clockwise direction to a height of up to 3 m (10 ft). The leaves are arranged alternately on the spiralling stem; they are dull green above and paler below, simple and sagittate (arrowhead shaped), 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and 3–7 cm (1+142+34 in) broad.[3]

The flowers are white, sometimes with pink windows, produced from late spring to the end of summer (between July and September in northern Europe).[4] The buds are enclosed by large (2 cm (34 in) long), ovate-lanceolate, green bracteoles with keels and burgundy margins; during anthesis they do not (or scarcely) overlap.[5]: 567  The open flowers are trumpet-shaped, 3–7 centimetres (1+142+34 in) diameter. After flowering, the fruit develops as an almost spherical capsule, which is hidden by the bracts. It is 1 centimetre (12 in) in diameter, containing two to four large, dark brown,[4] or black seeds that are shaped like quartered oranges.

The plant thrives in hedges,[4] fields, borders, roadsides and open woods.

Hedge bindweed is toxic, containing calystegine alkaloids.[6]



There are several species of Calystegia which occur in similar habitats and can be difficult to distinguish, especially when not in flower. It is common practice in Britain to treat C. sepium, C. silvatica and C. pulchra as an aggregate, usually recorded as "C. sepium agg.", whenever identification is uncertain. The use of this term sometimes creates confusion about which taxon is being discussed.[7]

The best way to separate hedge bindweed (sepium) from the other taxa is by the bracteoles, which subtend the flower and wholly or partially encompass the sepals. Hedge bindweed has two rather long, narrow bracteoles which do not touch each other, whereas both large bindweed and hairy bindweed have shorter, wider bracteoles which overlap where they meet.[8][5]

Bracteoles of hedge bindweed (left) and large bindweed (right)



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,[9] devil's guts and hedgebell.[10] A common childhood pastime in the UK is to 'pop' the flowers from the sepals while chanting "Granny, granny — pop out of bed".[citation needed]

Several regional subspecies are accepted:[2]

  • Calystegia sepium subsp. americana. North America.
  • Calystegia sepium subsp. angulata. North America.
  • Calystegia sepium subsp. appalachiana. Eastern North America.
  • 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.

As a weed

Calystegia sepium flower and foliage.

While appreciated for its flowers, C. sepium can grow as a vigorous weed plant, and is able to overwhelm and pull down cultivated plants including shrubs and small trees. It is self-seeding (seeds can remain viable as long as 30 years), can rapidly regrow into whole plants from individual pieces such as discarded roots,[11] and the success of its creeping rhizomes (they can be as long as 3–4 m (10–13 ft)) cause it to be a persistent weed and have led to its classification in some American states as a noxious weed.[10]

C. sepium is highly sensitive to glyphosate, a systemic herbicide, but eradication may require several doses.[12]

Similar species

  • 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.


  1. ^ NatureServe (2024). "Calystegia sepium". Arlington, Virginia. Retrieved 2 February 2024.
  2. ^ a b "Calystegia sepium (L.) R.Br. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  3. ^ Sell, Peter; Murrell, Gina (2009). Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, vol 3. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. ^ a b c Reader's Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain. Reader's Digest. 1981. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-276-00217-5.
  5. ^ a b Stace, C. A. (2010). New Flora of the British Isles (Third ed.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521707725.
  6. ^ Scholl, Yvonne; Höke, Dirk; Dräger, Birgit (December 2001). "Calystegines in Calystegia sepium derive from the tropane alkaloid pathway". Phytochemistry. 58 (6): 883–889. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(01)00362-4.
  7. ^ Lockton, Alex. "BSBI species accounts: Calystegia sepium". Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  8. ^ Rich, T.C.G. (1998). Plant Crib. London: Botanical Society of the British Isles.
  9. ^ Wiersema, John H.; León, Blanca (2013). World Economic Plants: A Standard Reference, Second Edition. p. 921. ISBN 9781466576810.
  10. ^ a b "Calystegia sepium (Appalachia False Bindweed, Bearbind, Bellbind, Bingham's False Bindweed, Bracted Bindweed, Bugle Vine, Devil's Guts, Great Bindweed, Heavenly Trumpets, Hedgebell, Hedge Bindweed, Hedge False Bindweed, Large Bindweed, Old Man's Nightcap, Rutland Beauty, Wild Morning Glory) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Dealing with bindweed". BBC Gardeners World Magazine. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  12. ^ Brook, Roger. "How to control bindweed, Convolvulus". Retrieved 6 June 2021.