Convolvulus Panduratus. Fiddle-Leaved Bind-Weed.

Botanical name: 

Table 23. Convolvulus panduratus. Wild-Rhubarb. Mechamech of the Indians. Mecoacanna. Wild Potatoe. Hog Potatoe — In Virginia Wild Potatoe vine; (the root, Kussauder, or Kassader, in the state of Delaware.) Virginian Bind-weed, in England.
Germ. Geigenblättrige Winde. (Willd.)

Convolvulus panduratus. L.
Sp. Pl. 219. Gron. Virg. ed. n. 28.
Shoepf. Mat. Med. Am. p. 21.
Barton's Collections, part. 1. p. 30, 56. part 2. p. 49.
Dill. Elth. 101. t 85. f. 99.
Houttuyn Lin. Pfl. Syst. 5. p. 523.
Pursh. Fl. Am. Sep. vol. 1. p. 144.
Mich. Pl. Boreali-Am. vol. 1, p. 138.
Pers. Syn. Pl. vol. 1. p. 178.
Bart. Prod. Fl. Ph. p. 29.
Coxe, Am. Disp. ed. 3. p. 284.
Ait. Hort. Kew. ed. 2. vol. 1. p. 327.


Gen. Plant. 287.

Caps. 2-3-locularis. Cor. Campanulata, 5-plicata.
Stigm. 2 filiformia. Cat. nudus aut bibracteatus.
Nat. Syst. Juss. Convolvuli. Classis VIII. Ordo IX.

Convolvulus, T. L. * Liseron. Calix 5-partitus. Corolla campanulata aut rarius infundibuliformis, limbo 5-plicato sxpius integro angulato, angulis acutis aut dentatis. Stamina inaequalia, filamentis approximates. Germen glandulx hypogynae semi-immersum; stylus 1; stigma 2-fidum. Capsula saepe 3-locularis, raro 2-4-locularis, loculis 1-2-spermis, quibusdam interdum abortivis. Herbae lactescentes, plurimae vqlubiles; pedunculi axillares aut terminales, 1-flori 2-bracteati, aut multiflori. Species paucissimje fructiculosx. Juss. Gen. Plant. p. 134.
Nat. Ord. Vent. Convolvulaceae.
Nat. Ord. Lin. Campanacea.
Classis Pentandria. Ordo Monogynia.

Gen. Ch. Cal. perianth five-cleft. Cor. monopetalous, bell-shaped or funnel-shaped, plaited; border generally spreading, more or less five-lobed. Stam. filaments five, awl-shaped, shorter than the corolla, approximating at the base. Pist. germ superior, roundish; stile filiform; stigma simple or bifid. Peric. capsule surrounded by the calix, roundish; one, two, three, or four-celled; one, two, three, four, or many-valved. Seeds one or two in each cell.

Ess. Ch. Five-cleft. Corolla bell or funnel-shaped. Stigmas one or two. Pericarp a capsule, or dry berry. Seeds one or two in each cell.

Obs. Authors often call the calix five-leaved, when it is very deeply five-cleft. Ency.

Convolvulus panduratus, volubilis, pubescens; foliis lato-cordatis integris lobatisve panduriformibus, pedunculis longis, floribus fasciculatis, calicibus glabris muticis, corollis subulato-campanulatis.


Convolvulus megalorhizus. Dill. Elth.
C. foliis cordatis integris panduriformibus, calicibus laevibus. Sp. Pl. 219.
C. foliis inferioribus cordatis, superioribus trilobis, calicibus pedunculis petiolisque glabris, caule rubescente. Gron. Virg. 141.
Pharm. Convolvuli pandurati, Radix.

Descriptio Uberior.

Radix perennis, elongata, cylindrica. Caulis herbaceus volubilis, pubescens, teres. Folia longe petiolata, lato-cordata seu lobata, lobis rotundatis obsoletioribus, Integra acuminata. Pedunculi folio longiores, teretes. Flores fasiculati. Corolla magna campanulata, alba, fundo rubro-purpurascente. Bractae vix ullae, sed sxpe squamae 2 obsolete. Stamina longitudine tubi, alba. Pistillum album, vix longitudine staminum; stigma capitatum, album. Habitat in arenosis arvis, florens Junio et Julio. Bart. Fl. Ph. MS.

The genus Convolvulus, (so called a convolvendo, because many of the species are twining) contains a vast number of species, of which about sixteen are natives of this country. The one under present notice, derives its specific appellation from the shape of its leaves, which are frequently panduriform, or fiddle-shaped.

The root is perennial, very large, cylindrical, and full of longitudinal fissures. It is generally about the thickness represented in the plate, and about two or three feet long, branched at the bottom; of a yellow-ochre colour. I have seen specimens, however, of greater dimensions. The stem is twining, often procumbent on the earth, and not unfrequently climbing round fence-posts. It is round, of a greenish-purple colour. The leaves are broad, heart-shaped, entire, lobed, panduriform, somewhat acuminate, (deep green above and lighter underneath) situated on long petioles. Flowers in fascicles; calix smooth, awnless, corolla subulate-campanulate, white, with the tube purplish-red at the base, both externally and within. The peduncles and petioles have a common origin, and are arranged in pairs. The flower-buds are of a purplish-red hue at first, and when further advanced, are straw-colour. The plant flowers from June to August. It will be found every where in sandy fields, and by fences, from Canada to Florida.

Medical Properties.

The root of this plant, in larger doses than jalap, is mildly cathartic. Its operation is somewhat like that of rhubarb. But it has not obtained a place in the American dispensatories, for its cathartic property; and, it must be confessed, it is doubtful whether it possesses this virtue to any such extent, or in any such peculiar manner, as to entitle it to particular notice on this account. It is for its reputed power as an antilithic, that I have introduced it here. The plant has certainly acquired no inconsiderable repute, as a remedy for calculous affections. A decoction is said to have been used with great success, by a physician of New Jersey, [Dr. Harris—see Barton's Collections. ] who was enabled, by its use, to pass calculous granulae with facility. It appears also, that in Virginia, and some other parts of the United States, the root of this plant, taken either in powder or decoction, has been recommended in cases of gravel. [Barton's Collections.] Perhaps it is diuretic. Hitherto it has received but little attention among regular practitioners of medicine. It has, however, been employed among empirics, but for what purpose it is not easy to learn. I have seen it collected for their use, but, as may be supposed, any enquiries as to the object for which it was procured, resulted in no certain information. The constant habit of secrecy observed by these impostors, screens from the view of the profession, occasionally, active and useful articles. Of the medical virtues of the plant in question, I know nothing from experience, having never used it in any form. Shoepf informs us that it grows plentifully round Bethlehem, (Penn.) where its root is collected and sold for Mechoacanna, and that it has the same virtues and appearance as that article. [Mat. Med. Am. p. 21.]

Table XXIII.

A representation of a portion of Convolvulus, with a portion of the root, of its common size. The whole of the root is buried under the ground.

Vegetable Materia Medica of the U.S. or Medical Botany, 1817 (Vol. I), 1818 (Vol. II), was written by William P. C. Barton, M. D.