Meadow Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis
Meadow Bindweed, sometimes called Field Bindweed or Creeping Jenny, is a toxic plant in the Morning Glory family. It has a creeping, branching habit and can become a problem for other plant species if it takes hold, starving them of light and nutrients. It is often found in fields and meadows, but can equally be found on cultivated and waste ground. It has arrowhead-shaped leaves and produces very pretty funnel-shaped flowers that can vary slightly in colour from pure uniform white, to white with pink blotches or stripes. It is mildly toxic, causing gastrointestinal symptoms.
Possible Confusion & How to Stay Safe
The arrowhead-shaped leaves of Meadow Bindweed are quite similar to those of Common Sorrel, a tart and rather tasty edible. They also often grow in the same grassland habitat, too, meaning there is some risk of confusion. The easiest way of distinguishing the two species is by looking at their flowers, which are very different. Common Sorrel has tall, thin flower stalks with very small, unassuming, reddish-brown flowers, whereas Meadow Bindweed has large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers. When young, or before flowering, the best method of distinguishing to the two is by looking at their growth habit. Common Sorrel grows in a sperical rosette formation, whereas Meadow Bindweed is a creeping plant with long, sprawling stems that cover a large distance.