Hedge bindweed is a rhizomatous and stoloniferous perennial with long climbing stems that clamber up and over hedges. It is often a weed of gardens where it climbs over fruit trees, vegetable crops and herbaceous plants. It twines anti-clockwise.
Three subspecies are recognised in Britain. Subspecies sepium is widespread and native in hedges, the edge of woods and in gardens. Subspecies roseata occurs locally near the coast and ssp. spectabilis was formerly naturalised at one site in Wales. Two closely related species, previously regarded as subspecies also occur in Britain. Large bindweed (C. sylvatica) was introduced but is now widely naturalised in hedges and waste places. Hairy bindweed (C. pulchra) was also introduced but is less common.
The plant exudes a milky sap if damaged. Hedge bindweed has medicinal uses as a laxative