It looks so sweet and innocent, doesn't it?
I was so excited to report in my Morning Glory Comes to Call post that this flower, which jumped from my neighbor's hedge onto and around a wash-line pole in my yard, appeared to be a morning glory. But my happiness was short-lived. My blogging friend Connie of Notes from a Cottage Garden kindly warned me in a post comment that, based on the leaves, the plant looked like bindweed.
I did some online research and found that the flower and leaves do match bindweed, which is a highly invasive type of wild morning glory. What I read in this excerpt from an article by Dennis Hinkamp on the Utah State University Extension website made the hair stand up on the back of my neck:
Field bindweed is a strong-willed perennial, Goodspeed says. It grows from rhizomes, which are technically underground stems. This gives the plant the ability to move great distances under the ground without being detected. These rhizomes can produce a "new" plant at each node on the stem.
“In layman terms, this means the plant has the ability to send up 1,000 new plants right where you are trying to establish a flower bed or garden,” he says. “As if this were not evil enough, this noxious weed also has the ability to produce thousands of seeds. To top it off, these seeds can lay dormant in the soil for up to 50 years before germinating.”
So I'll wait and grow some of the good morning glories from seed next year. And bring out the weedkiller immediately to get rid of its evil twin.