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Vinca minor
Vinca minor

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Vinca

Periwinkle
Apocynaceae
Evergreen, Ground covers, Perennials, Flowers

Trailing, arching stems that root where they touch soil make these plants useful as groundcovers 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

The larger, more aggressive species. Leaves are 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. ‘Variegata’, probably as common as the green form, has leaves strongly edge in white.

Vinca minor

Miniature 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. White-flowered and variegated forms at available.

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