Among the flowers that I commonly saw during my youth in Ohio but seldom if ever see now that I live in New Hampshire are Wild Potato Vine (above) and Field Bindweed (below). Both plants are in the Morning Glory family, with Wild Potato Vine being a native species and Field Bindweed a European invasive.

While Googling to find more information about Wild Potato Vine, I chuckled to discover the second listing pointed to an entry my blog-bud Rurality had posted earlier this month. I guess WPV is becoming something of a celebrity in my little corner of the blogosphere.

Field Bindweed, on the other hand, is something of a botanic bad boy. Although I knew Field Bindweed, lovely as it looks, is a great pest to farmers, tending as it does to twine around and bind the stems of other species, I didn’t know it is considered the “the worst weed in California and many of the western states.” Despite its innocuous and quite lovely appearance, Field Bindweed sounds like a real headache if you’re a farmer, for it has deep roots and rhizomes that make it all but impossible to eradicate, seeds that can survive dormant in farm fields for 60 years, and a tendency to be both drought- and herbicide-tolerant. Apparently Field Bindweed is particularly damaging to onions, melons, and tomatoes, making it nearly impossible to grow those crops in a field where Bindweed has taken a foothold.

So there you have it: Good Crop and Bad Crop. While Wild Potato Vine is sitting quietly and posing for blog photographs, Field Bindweed is doing its invasive darnedest to foil farmers from coast to coast. I guess you could call Field Bindweed a bad seed.