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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month
Catharanthus roseus

Madagascar Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle or Vinca

Madagascar Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle or Vinca is a perennial valuable for its tolerance of heat and humidity as well as its long and colorful display of flowers through the spectrum from mauve-pink to white.  This plant is a native of Madagascar, India of the family Apocynaceae.

Derivatives from Periwinkle are used in a variety of medicines and treatments for human
ailments including leukemia and hodgkins disease. Plants seed themselves into the landscape.


Catharanthus roseus hybrid [Click to Enlarge]

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Catharanthus roseus hybrid [Click to Enlarge]

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Catharanthus roseus hybrid [Click to Enlarge]

Click image to enlarge

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Madagascar Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle or Vinca

Botanical Name:  Catharanthus roseus, also known as Vinca rosea, Vinca multiflora

Family:  Apocynaceae

Plant Type:  Heat tolerant perennial

Origin: India

Zones: 10

Height:  1-2'

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Moderate

Soil Requirements:  Tolerates most soils

Water Requirements: Must not dry out

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Erect, bushy plant

Leaves:  Paired, glossy and fleshy oblong 1-3"

Flowers: Phlox-like 1-1 1/2", usually mauve-pink or white, often with a darker eye.

Fruits: None

Pests or diseases:  None

Uses:  Group or border plantings

Bad Habits: Adept at getting loose and growing in wild areas.  Often viewed as a weed throughout Florida.

Cost:  $ -- very reasonable

Propagation:   Seed, often self-sows

Sources: American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden PlantsFlora: A Gardener's Encyclopedia 

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