Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Solanales - Family: Convolvulaceae
Members of the family Convolvulaceae (Bindweeds) drive gardners to distraction, since they are almost impossible to eradicate once they establish themselves in flowerbeds.
This hairless creeping perennial plant has fleshy stems, kidney-shaped alternate leaves, and attractive flowers 3 to 5cm in diameter in the form of broadly trumpet-shaped pink to lavender corollas with five white radial stripes delineating the five fused sepals; the flowers have yellowish centres.
Sea Bindweed, which is common in coastal parts of Britain and Ireland (although scarce in northern Scotland) is also found in mainland Europe and the Mediterranean region. In North America Calystegia soldanella grows in sandy parts ofthe west coast and on some parts of the east coast.
These beautiful wildflowers light up coastal wasteground, shifting sand dunes and the sides of dry cliff-top paths, sometimes growing on salt-sprayed shore gravel in places where few other species can survive.
Sea Bindweed produces flowers from May to September.
When Field Bindweed Convovulus arvensis occurs in its pink-and white form it has white flowers with five pink stripes, whereas Sea Bindweed has pinkish flowers with five white stripes.
The specimens shown here were found in the Algarve region of Portugal in May, and in Wales UK in July.