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I have just read about bindweed - essentially a variety of morning glory that is considered a weed because of how fast it grows and how it "chokes" other plants. This may be exactly what I need to quickly cover the walls of my terrace (it will be grown in containers and won't be near any other plants). I can't find any place to get the seeds (perhaps understandably). Is there anywhere I can get them, and is there any reason I shouldn't plant them for my needs?

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NOOOOO! don't do it. It is invasive and horrible. People spend years trying to get rid of it. I am trying to eradicate it on my property. DON'T DO IT!!! –  Tim May 4 '12 at 16:37
    
bindweed is great because is comes back every year, unlike morning glory. –  user1799 Dec 17 '12 at 1:56
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4 Answers

If there isn't bindweed in your area don't be the person that imports it... There are a great many climbing plants, including morning glory, passion flower, honey suckle, trumpet vine, even Virginia creeper or hops... Do some research and find something suitable in your area.

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I think morning glory seeds would do the job you wanted. They have no problems covering large areas and don't spread where they aren't wanted. I agree with @Tim planting bindweed is something you are likely to regret.

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I assume you are talking about Convolvulus sepia. It is quite common in my area (Seattle). I think it would be a big mistake to plant it. Although the individual white flowers are really quite elegant, in the mass this vine is really not very attractive. Also, I suspect that this species propagates vegetatively only, because I have rummaged through stands of this weed dozens of times over several decades looking for seeds, and I have yet to find a single one. I am glad to say.

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Bindweed does produce seeds, but they are tiny and mature very quickly. Chances are they will be produced and dropped into the soil in between checking the flowers. The seeds also remain viable for up to 3 or 4 years. I agree though, you don't want to import this, it will take over and be impossible to get rid of completely. –  AvieRose Feb 12 '13 at 16:12
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Why try to eradicate it? Make tea! Bindweed extract has been shown to be helpful for numerous cancers, including prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancers, and more. It is so helpful, in fact, that it completely destroyed ‘virulent’ cancer tumors in laboratory mice. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center reports that:

“Recent in vitro and animal studies show that the water extracts from the plant’s aerial parts, rich in proteoglycans, have anti-angiogenic and immune-stimulating effects. Other studies found that these constituents also increased vasodilation and circulatory function, and lowered blood pressure in animals.”

As quoted directly from the study:

“Water extract from the aerial parts of C. arvensis [Bindweed] is thought to be rich in proteoglycans. It has immunostimulatory effects in animals by increasing total leukocyte and lymphocyte counts as well as increasing serum lysosome activity. The lipophilic glycoside constituents have cytotoxic effects in human tumor cell lines. High molecular weight extract from C. arvensis inhibits tumor growth in a dose-dependent manner probably due to its ability to inhibit growth of blood vessels.

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I think the summary is found here, if I am correct,mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/convolvulis-arvensis and it says it can be used for a laxative, relief of hypertension and "anti-angiogenic and immune-stimulating effects" that you mention. The inhibition of tumour growth in mentioned in one study using chicks and mice. Intriguing but not a remit to start eating it without some further study. –  kevinsky Dec 2 '13 at 22:32
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