Wild Periwinkle
Lesser Periwinkle - Common Periwinkle - Myrtle Flower
Vinca minor Linnaeus
Apocynaceae (Dogbane) Family

Plant is a low trailing evergreen with flowers borne singly in the leaf axil. Preferred habitat is roadsides, moist embankments, stream banks, abandoned sites and rich woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are 1 to 1-1/2 inches long; shiny, dark green and opposite on the stem; broadest at the middle, tip sharp pointed and slightly pinched; base is wedge-shaped and nearly clasping the stem.

Flowers are asymmetric; creating a pinwheel effect with a whitish star outlined in the center. Corolla is funnel-shaped; five-lobed; bisexual and symmetrical in form. Flowers occur in the spring.

This introduced plant, now escaped from cultivation, frequently forms extensive patches though not considered invasive. The Latin name, pervinca (from the root to bind), is the source for both the present generic and common names. In the southern U.S. the erect Old Maid, V. rosea, with either pink or white flowers, often becomes well established. The plant is also the source for a drug called vincristine; which is the poison used to treat cancer patients through chemotherapy.


British Wild Periwinkle, Vinca major

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