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Periwinkle Vinca minor

Other plants called Periwinkle:

Phonetic Spelling
VIN-kah MY-nor
Description

Vinca minor, or Periwinkle, is an herbaceous perennial evergreen ground cover from Europe with blue-lavender flowers in spring and early summer. It will rebloom intermittantly throughout the year. Excellent as a ground cover for large natural areas and around trees, but it can become weedy. The vine spreads by rooting at the nodes. It has a more manicured look than V. major; with luxurious foliage and dainty blue-purple flowers.

The plant tolerates close to full shade, but prefers full or partial sun (although it can tend to yellow in full sun and high heat) and moist, organic soils. When using as a groundcover, plant 8 inches apart for quick cover of smaller areas and 12 to 18 inches apart for large areas.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Considered invasive in several states around North Carolina and California. Vine stem canker (blight) can damage or kill large patches and it can spread aggressively into adjacent lawns or garden areas.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bowles'
  • 'Honeydew'
    Small, glossy, oval-to-elliptic, chartreuse leaves; tubular, phlox-like, lavender-blue flowers. Dense foliage.
  • 'Variegata'
    Dark green leaves, irregular creamy white margins, mat forming, low growing violet blue flowers in spring, rebloom.
'Bowles', 'Honeydew', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#partial shade#weedy#salt tolerant#apvg#playground#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#groundcover#fantz#HS302#apvg-vg#flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bowles'
  • 'Honeydew'
    Small, glossy, oval-to-elliptic, chartreuse leaves; tubular, phlox-like, lavender-blue flowers. Dense foliage.
  • 'Variegata'
    Dark green leaves, irregular creamy white margins, mat forming, low growing violet blue flowers in spring, rebloom.
'Bowles', 'Honeydew', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#evergreen#partial shade#weedy#salt tolerant#apvg#playground#cpp#deer resistant#children's garden#groundcover#fantz#HS302#apvg-vg#flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vinca
    Species:
    minor
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    groundcover
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Caucasus
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts bumblebees.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are axillary, solitary, lilac-blue; corolla rotate, 5-lobed, actinomorphic, on more upright stems.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, simple, evergreen, elliptic, to 1 inch long, entire, medium green.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are erect to about 6", then arching over to ground and trailing.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Heavy Shade
    Poor Soil
    Salt
    Problems:
    Weedy