Calystegia spithamaea (L.) Pursh
Habitat: Sandy or rocky open soil, thin woods. [Dry barrens (partly forested, upland); Old field/roadside (non-forested, wetland or upland)]
Range: Quebec and Maine to Minnesota, south to Virginia and Missouri, and in the mountains of Georgia.
Aids to Identification: The stem of this perennial bindweed is weakly erect, with alternately arranged oblong leaves on short leaf-stalks. The large white or pink flowers are funnel shaped, on long flower stalks.
Ecological characteristics: In Maine this species is known to occur in sandplain grasslands and sandy floodplains. It sometimes occurs in hayfields and on roadsides, but is not closely related to the non-native and agressive common bindweed (C. sepium).
Phenology: Flowers June - August.
Synonyms: Formerly known as Convolvulus spithameus L. Maine populations are represented by Calystegia spithamaea ssp. spithamaea.
Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 10 town(s) in the following county(ies): Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, York.
Dates of documented observations are: 1885, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002 (2)
Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.
Conservation considerations: Some known populations have succumbed to conversion of their habitat to residential or commercial use; others are vulnerable.
For more information, see the New England Wild Flower Society's Conservation Plan for Calystegia spithamaea -pdf link- 208 KB.