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Bloom is sporadic, but the delightful purplish blue color is worth it.

If the Latin name of dwarf periwinkle is Vinca minor, it is logical that large periwinkle should be Vinca major. Large periwinkle is more commonly known simply as periwinkle or common periwinkle, although it is not as common as dwarf periwinkle is, at least in landscapes. In some regions, it has naturalized as an invasive weed.

Some might accurately say that periwinkle is shabbier than the relatively neat and dense dwarf periwinkle. Others might say that it is just rustic or informal. The wiry stems stand less than a foot tall before they bend over from their own weight. Fallen stems can root where they touch the ground, and grow into new plants over winter.

The evergreen foliage is rich green, and a bit darker than the top of a billiard table. The simple paired leaves are about an inch and a half to two inches long. The slightly purplish blue flowers are about an inch and a half wide, with five petals each. Bloom is sporadic, but almost continuous, except for a lapse through winter.

6 thoughts on “Periwinkle

    1. That was not intended. I write this for the gardening column, so I try to stay neutral. It is an invasive exotic weed here, but some of us in more urban areas still appreciate it in landscapes.

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  1. Vinca minor and Vinca major are both a major pain in the keister. While i don’t have V. major here, I did have a HUGE patch at the mansion in Mississippi. It was a good thing it was where it was because I have no idea what else would have been good there. So, I didn’t bother it that much. The V. minor I managed to control there, but here in Missouri is a different story. I have no idea how it gets where it does nor how to stop it with out gallons of round-up or 2, 4-D. One area north of the chicken house (aprox. 50′ x 100′) is covered in a carpet of it and has crossed the fence. It grows around (and up) trees. It has spread under a few trees in the yard and a next to the side porch… Hmmm… Now that i think of it, the iris in that spot came from my parents other house where there was a bed of V. minor between the basement steps and porch… SO, they brought with them in the Iris in that spot. Doesn’t matter, it is here and I don’t like it… I just have to keep it in its boundary. The iris don’t seem to mind it.

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    1. Neither naturalize too badly in chaparral or desert climates, although the Vinca major is a major weed in the redwood forests here, and elsewhere on the coast. Vinca minor is more docile, and can actually be found in nurseries here.

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