AGP - Convolvulus arvensis






Family: Convolvulaceae

Common names: Field bindweed Correguela Correhuela Viuniok.

A persistent perennial weed which spreads radially, producing up to 25 or more shoots in one season, many of which can reach up to 3 m in length, forming a dense mat on the ground.

The root system of the plant is deep, extensive and can penetrate down to 3 m or more, while lateral creeping roots can reach lengths of up to 2 m. The plant also forms underground stems (rhizomes) which vary in length from a few centimetres to over one metre.

A common weed in several annual and perennial crops mainly in temperate countries. It is uncommon in hot climate countries.

The plant produces viable seed which is a good source of infestation but not the only one. The seeds become viable 10 to 15 days after pollination and can remain viable in the soil for twenty or more years.

The roots of C. arvensis have tremendous regenerative capacity owing to the food reserves stored in them, especially in the deeper roots and this is why shoots of the weed reappear on the soil surface even after deep cultivations. Rhizomes are also important means of spreading the weed.

Cultural control begins with growing a well-managed, vigorous crop. Competitive cropping, with e.g. alfalfa, can also contribute to reducing C. arvensis infestations. It must reduce light available to the weed to 6% or less of full sunlight for 3 years in order to be effective. Mulching which excludes light from the soil surface can control C. arvensis provided that the weed does not grow through it.

Soil solarization involves covering wet soil with sheets of clear plastic during the summer for a period of six to eight weeks. The method can be useful only in areas with hot summers and in fallow fields. Soil solarization is not very satisfactory against established C. arvensis but it has been shown to kill the seeds of the weed.

Mechanical control of C. arvensis can be successful if it is persistent for a number of years and interventions are timely. The usual cultivations involved in land preparation before sowing or planting a crop or the few cultivations for weed destruction in vineyards and orchards are ineffective in controlling the weed and may actually help to spread it.

Control requires frequent cultivations which should not be too deep. Swan (1989) showed that the best time for cultivating was 12 days after emergence, repeated at intervals of about 18 days. Care is needed to avoid damage to the crop. The optimum depth of cultivation is 10 cm. Deeper cutting lengthens the interval between cultivations but requires more power. Frequent shallow hand hoeing can be as effective as cultivations.

Herbicides can play a significant role in a management plan. Although many herbicides can control C. arvensis there are few instances of selective use in crops, especially in vegetables.

In irrigated orchards C. arvensis has been controlled with doses of glyphosate down to 1.6-2.0 kg a.e./ha . In applying glyphosate the diluent volume must not be very high otherwise efficacy may be reduced; 200-300 l/ha are adequate.

2,4-D and MCPA can safely be applied in citrus orchards provided the tree foliage is not sprayed.

In vineyards consecutive annual applications of the mixture terbuthylazine + terbumeton, each at 3.75 - 5 kg a.i./ha, has completely controlled the weed. However, for reasons of safety to the crop this herbicide mixture should be given in two split applications with two thirds initially and the remaining one third four to five months later. The same mixture as well as terbumeton alone at 7.5-10 kg a.i./ha have similarly controlled C. arvensis in citrus.

Predatory and parasitic insects have been tried on a limited scale with some success but the method has not yet found practical application.

It is a common weed in vineyards, orchards, vegetables, winter wheat, spring barley, sugarbeet and winter rape.

C. arvensis has a world-wide distribution, growing in all continents, but it is not found in hot climatic areas of the world. It thrives in moist fertile soils but can survive hot dry summers in fallow land. It tolerates frost but does not do well under dense shade.

Countries: Algeria, Chile, Cyprus, Eritrea, India, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya


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