Calystegia spithamaea (Low False Bindweed)

Plant Info
Also known as: Upright Bindweed, Erect Bindweed
Family:Convolvulaceae (Morning Glory)
Life cycle:perennial
Habitat:part shade, sun; dry sandy or rocky soil; prairies, Jack pine stands, rocky slopes, along railroads
Bloom season:June - July
Plant height:3 to 20 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:none
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Flower shape: bell Flower shape: tubular

[photo of flower] Flowers are funnel-shaped, 2 to 3 inches long, usually white, occasionally pink. The 5 petals are fused at the base and form 5 shallow lobes at the tip end. Inside the tube is the white stigma. A plant typically only has a few flowers, short stalked and arising from leaf axils on the lower stem, usually only 1 is open at a time and lasts a single day.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: alternate Leaf type: simple

Leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, toothless, more or less hairy, generally oblong-elliptic, rounded or pointed at the tip, rounded to somewhat heart-shaped at the base, and short stalked. Stems are hairy and mostly erect, sometimes drooping at the tip and sometimes twisted, but not twining.


While the large funnel-shaped flowers are similar to the more common Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium), Low False Bindweed's low growth habit, non-twining stem, and usually drier habitat easily distinguishes this species.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: CJ - SE Carlton County
on: 2013-07-01 15:00:42

First year I have seen it here.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2013-07-01 15:09:38

CJ, you didn't mention the habitat, but what you came upon was more likely either hedge bindweed or field bindweed.

Posted by: Brandy - Aitkin County, Jevne Township
on: 2013-07-27 09:40:10

I saw this stunning plant growing on a sandy township road bank. At first, I thought it was paper trash someone had thrown out because I had never seen such big flowers as these on any plants in the area. I investigated and identified them with a plant key. Unfortunately, they were growing under an electric line. I saw them bloom two years in a row and then they did a chemical spray, and I never saw them again. :(

Posted by: Lisa L - Big Stone Lake State Park
on: 2016-08-07 20:27:09

I was hiking the trail in Big Stone Lake State Park near the South Dakota boarder early August. I had gone down to the boat launch area and out on the dock, when I turned around I saw these flowers blooming on the shoreline among other plants and weeds. I took a picture of them (as I do most flowers I find hiking) although I didn't know what it was. The vine and flower shape gave it away. I use a quick fold-out pocket guide to try to match my photos. Sure enough, this was Bindweed. Very pretty. White among the dark green was so bright.

Posted by: K. Chayka
on: 2016-08-07 20:57:52

Lisa, considering where in MN you found it, it is more likely Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) than Calystegia spithamaea. Check the county distribution map to see what I mean.

Posted by: Katy J - Cutfoot EF, Chippewa NF, Itasca County, MN
on: 2018-03-07 06:46:28

In 2017 we had 10 occurences of Calystegia spithamaea in a red pine Variable Density Thin study.

Posted by: Nancy Schwartz - 25 miles south of Ely along hwy1
on: 2018-06-18 11:01:31

We were traveling on a forest service road just off hwy 1 when I spotted two blooms. They seemed out of place. We stopped to photograph them and identified it from the photograph on this website when we got home. I initially thought it was a petunia from a bird dropping. I also thought it might be bindweed but the single flowers on a single stem threw me off.

Posted by: Heather - NE Wadena County
on: 2019-07-01 11:58:08

I found this growing in the middle of a recently logged off red pine plantation. Had never seen it growing there before so was a bit surprised as its very obvious with the large white flowers.

Posted by: Linda Pulkinen - Waasa Township, Embarrass, MN
on: 2019-07-03 13:39:03

We have lots of these plants in our field.

Posted by: Kristin - Northern/Bemidji
on: 2020-06-19 07:09:17

I recently found this in between my yard and the neighbors. We have very sandy soil and live on a lake. It was on the edge of about a 3’ trail between our houses. Partially shaded.

Posted by: Randall Johnson - Cook County, due west of Grand Marais 2 miles.
on: 2020-06-27 21:54:21

This unusual flower showed itself along my rustic forest driveway. The forest is mixed birch, aspen, “moose maple.” The flowering plant is in a place that affords some direct sunlight in an otherwise dense undergrowth.

Posted by: John Lawrey - Duluth
on: 2022-07-17 10:04:32

Blooming about a foot off the ground in our backyard, in a tangle of high growth. I noted the five points to the petals and the white stigma.

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