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Periwinkle Vinca minor


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credit: Kaldari

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Alternate name: Running Myrtle, Vinca, Lesser Periwinkle

Family: Apocynaceae, Dogbane view all from this family

Description Non-native evergreen groundcover. Classified as a woody plant or shrub, it resembles a vine but does not twine or climb. Habit: prostrate, forming a dense mat. Leaf: opposite, lanceolate to elliptical, 1-2" long, entire, glossy dark green with a leathery texture. Flower: white to pale blue or violet, 5 petals, to 1.5" diameter. Fruit: a pair of very narrow pods, seldom seen.

Flower Early spring to midsummer, with a few flowers produced into autumn.

Habitat Roadsides, forests, often found around old homesites. Partial sun to full shade.

Range Found throughout the east and midwest U.S. and Canada, west to Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas & Texas; also present in Montana, Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Discussion Native to Europe, introduced to North America in the 18th century. Now escaped from cultivation but still widely grown as an ornamental ground cover. Invasive.