Periwinkle

31 Jul

Periwinkle (Vinca minor) evergreen, spreading growth habit 6-12 inches in height with indeterminate spread, flowers in shades of blue and purple to white, dark green glossy foliage, best in part shade, deer resistant.

Trailing, arching stems that root where they touch soil make these plants useful as ground and bank covers. Shiny dark green, oval to oblong leaves. Lavender-blue, five-petaled, pinwheel-shaped flowers appear in leaf joints in early spring. Plant the larger species and its varieties 2–2 1/2 ft. apart, dwarf kinds 1/2 ft. apart. When plantings mound up or are layered with old stems, shear or mow before new spring growth begins. Will grow in almost any soil. Compete successfully with surface tree roots.

Vinca major is the larger, more aggressive species, and should be avoided. Leaves to 3 in. long, flowers to 2 in. across; mounds to 1–2 ft. high. Spreads rapidly; can be extremely invasive in sheltered, forested areas.

 Vinca minor is the dwarf version of V. major, with 3/4–1 3/4-in.- long leaves, flowers to 1 in. wide, and a height of just 4–6 in. More restrained, less likely to invade adjacent plantings.
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