The morning glory family, containing 1200 species of herbaceous plants, is represented in Canada by cultivated common morning glory and 3 related species; 11 species of climbing, parasitic dodders; and 5 species of bindweed.
The morning glory family (Convolvulaceae), containing 1200 species of herbaceous plants, is represented in Canada by cultivated common morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) and 3 related species; 11 species of climbing, parasitic dodders (genus Cuscuta); and 5 species of bindweed (Convolvulus). Common morning glory, less popular as a garden ornamental than formerly, persists as a weed or in waste places. Native to tropical America, it is closely related to the sweet potato. Dodders are leafless, vinelike annuals without chlorophyll. They have orange or reddish threadlike stems that encircle stems of herbs and shrubs and attach themselves by suckers that tap the host plant for water and nutrients. Once suckers are operational, dodders' roots disappear. Two bindweeds are important weeds in Canada. Field bindweed (C. arvensis), a European perennial found across Canada (except possibly Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island), twines counterclockwise around crop and other plants, and spreads by seeds and underground roots. The white or slightly pink flowers are about 2.5 cm across. Hedge bindweed (C. sepium), similar in appearance, has flowers up to 5 cm across.