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Published In: Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae 483. 1810. (Prodr.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
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Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/23/2009)


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1. Calystegia R. Br. (hedge bindweed)

Plants perennial herbs, usually scrambling or twining (except in C. spithamea), with usually deep-set rhizomes and root systems. Stems sometimes somewhat angular, glabrous or finely hairy. Leaves mostly relatively long-petiolate (except in C. spithamea). Leaf blades triangular to ovate or oblong-ovate, often with 1 or 2 pairs of triangular lobes at the base (then appearing sagittate or hastate), rounded to sharply pointed at the tip, truncate to more commonly deeply cordate at the base, the margins otherwise entire. Inflorescences axillary, the flowers solitary or paired, long-stalked. Bracts 2, closely subtending the flower, leaflike, longer than and more or less hiding the calyx, slightly to strongly overlapping, ovate to oblong-ovate, persistent at fruiting. Calyx of free sepals, these similar in size and shape, narrowly ovate to ovate or oblong, membranous, at least toward the margins, glabrous or nearly so. Corollas very shallowly 5-lobed, funnelform, white or rarely pink. Stamens lacking subtending scales, not exserted. Ovary 2-locular, usually appearing 1-locular toward the tip, with 4 ovules. Style 1, the stigmas 2, oblong to ovate in outline, somewhat flattened. Fruits globose to ovoid, 1-locular, dehiscing longitudinally, the wall separating into 4 segments. Seeds 1–4, oblong-ovate to ovate in outline, somewhat longitudinally angled on the inner face, the surface smooth to very finely granular, dark brown to more commonly black, glabrous. About 30 species, nearly worldwide.

Calystegia is now accepted by most botanists as a genus separate from Convolvulus, although emerging molecular data suggests that it represents merely a specialized offshoot of that genus (Brummitt, 2002). Lewis and Oliver (1965) discussed the morphological characters separating the two groups, including differences in pollen morphology, stigma shape, and often locule number. The present treatment was improved greatly following helpful discussion and advice from Richard K. Brummitt (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) and Daniel F. Austin (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson).

Steyermark (1963) noted that some species of what is now considered Calystegia apparently are poisonous to livestock, but Burrows and Tyrl (2001) do not discuss any poisonous properties. Steyermark also noted that the group can become noxious weeds in crop fields and disturbed sites. Hedge bindweeds do not produce as extensive or deep a rootstock as does true bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), making them less significant agricultural weeds. Some species of Calystegia are cultivated as ornamental plants on fences and trellises.


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1 1. Corollas 2.5–4.0 cm long, doubled (at least in Missouri material) ... 2. C. PUBESCENS

Calystegia pubescens
2 1. Corollas 4–7 cm long, not doubled

3 2. Petioles less (usually much less) than 1/2 as long as the midvein of the accompanying leaf blades; stems 7–50 cm long, erect or ascending, not twining ... 5. C. SPITHAMAEA

Calystegia spithamaea
4 2. Petioles more than (usually much more than) 1/2 as long as the midvein of the accompanying leaf blades; stems mostly 40–300 cm long, scrambling or trailing, twining, at least toward the tip (except occasionally in C. macounii)

5 3. Stems and leaves moderately to densely pubescent with short, velvety hairs; leaf blades with the basal lobes entire (without additional lobes), not spreading, broadly rounded to less commonly bluntly pointed ... 1. C. MACOUNII

Calystegia macounii
6 3. Stems and leaves glabrous or nearly so; leaf blades with the basal lobes angular or with an additional pair of lobes, often somewhat spreading, bluntly to sharply pointed

7 4. Leaf blades with the basal sinus quadrate (squared-off, with 2 parallel sides at abrupt right angles to the base; note that the shape is sometimes distorted in pressed specimens); bracts usually strongly overlapping, rounded to bluntly pointed ... 4. C. SILVATICA

Calystegia silvatica
8 4. Leaf blades with the basal sinus U-shaped or V-shaped; bracts usually overlapping only toward the base, bluntly to more commonly sharply pointed ... 3. C. SEPIUM Calystegia sepium
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