A novel plant lectin has been isolated from the rhizomes of Calystegia sepium (hedge bindweed) and partially characterized. The lectin is a dimeric protein composed of two identical non-covalently linked subunits of 16 kDa. Hapten inhibition studies indicate that the novel lectin is best inhibited by maltose and mannose and hence exhibits a sugar binding specificity that differs in some respects from that of all previously isolated plant lectins. Mitogenicity tests have shown that the Calystegia lectin is a powerful T-cell mitogen. Affinity purification of human, plant and fungal glycoproteins on immobilized C. sepium lectin demonstrates that this novel lectin can be used for the isolation of glycoconjugates from various sources. Moreover, it can be expected that by virtue of its distinct specificity, the new lectin will become an important tool in glycobiology.