Information on Black-bindweed

Common Name: Black-bindweed
Scientific Name: Fallopia convolvulus
Irish Name: GlĂșineach dhubh
Family Group: Polygonaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Black-bindweed could sometimes be confused with:


Twining, trailing, climbing its way across arable land, hedges and roadsides, Black-bindweed is an annual plant which is also found on rubbish tips and waste ground.  More commonly found in the south-east region of Ireland, from July to October it bears very small green-white or green-pink flowers (1-2mm across) in spikes which emerge from the leaf axils.  The flowers have five perianth segments.  The handsome arrow or heart shaped leaves have long stalks and are green above and powdery below.  The slender red-tinged stems cover the ground in an angular tracery.  The fruits give the plant its common name as they are black triangular nutlets. This plant grows to about 1m, the stalks twining clockwise, it is a native plant and belongs to the Polygonaceae family.

I first recorded this plant on Abbey Island in Co Kerry in 1977 and photographed it near Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford in 2009.  

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Also known as Wild Buckwheat, the seeds of this plant were once used as food.  Archaelogical research suggests that this 'crop' was part of a Bronze Age diet but nowadays the trailing roots are considered to be a nuisance to agricultural machinery and in North America the plant is classed as an invasive species.