Black Bindweed / Wild Buckwheat
Observed in a farm plot near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. December 2012.
HERBACEOUS VINE: Herbaceous plant twining up through and over other
plants or onto fences. Length mostly less than 2 m.
FLOWERS: The flowers are small, set into tight clusters, and greenish
white, then quickly set fruit with three papery bracts that can look like
flowers. True bindweeds (Convolvulus) mostly have conspicuous flowers.
LEAVES: Leaves triangular to heart shape with a long tip. There is a
sheath around the stem where the petiole attaches, a feature that true
bindweeds (Convolvulus) never have.
RANGE: This plant is native to many parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, but
has been distributed world wide. It is frequent in farms, gardens and disturbed
FRUIT: Small seeds subtended by papery brachts are edible, but these
days are too small and few to be harvested for food, unlike in times past. Now
the plant is normally seen as a weed.
Polygonaceae -- Buckwheat Family
Michael J. Plagens, Created on 5 June 2013