Pretty White Flowers Will Fool You, Colorado’s Noxious Bindweed is Awful
Simple, soft white flowers with a mellow sweet scent. They're beautiful but beware. These nice little flowers grow on Colorado Field Bindweed. This weed is literally trying to strangle and overtake everything around it.
No matter where I have lived around the state of Colorado, nor what kind of living I was doing, country or city, bindweed has been there. It wraps itself tightly around flowers, garden plants, fence posts, and probably my shoe if I stood there long enough.
According to Colorado State University (CSU), Colorado Field Bindweed is a member of the morning-glory family and is classified "as a “List C” species on the Colorado Noxious Weed Act. It is required to be either eradicated, contained, or suppressed depending on the local jurisdictions managing this species." Good luck. The root and seed systems are impressive.
The roots of this plant, called taproots, can go 20 feet deep into the ground. That makes it virtually impossible to "get it all". Plus, the seeds of these plants can be preserved in the ground for over 20 years, just waiting for their time to sprout. The seeds are bountiful as well. One Field Bindweed plant can produce "between 30 and 200 seeds" depending on the environment, says Colorado State University.
So, what do you do to control it? That's tricky. Turns out mowing it down can spread it. Herbicides sorta help, but it takes a long time, years, and a very specific application. No insects can effectively control this weed. Livestock can graze it, but if horses eat too much they can develop intestinal problems.
My method is just to pull it before it climbs my plants and learn to live with it. The flowers make it easier, they are lovely.