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Vinca Major

Vinca Major

A very fast growing herbaceous perennial groundcover with evergreen foliage & prettyblue flowers .

Comman name is large periwinkle or Big periwinkle belongs to the family Apocynaceae ,

The Arching Stems for Vinca Major can reach up to 30 cm ( 12 inch.) , but anyway they soon fall down & spread indefinitely ,rooting at the nodes as they cover the ground with shiny dark green foliage . Plant leaves grows in pairs opposite each other along the stem ; they are 5-8 cm (2-3 inch.) long and oval or heart shaped .

The Flowers are borne singly in the leaf axils on ascending stems. They are blue –violet funnel shaped with five petals and about 5cm (2inch.) across. Big periwinkle flowers profusely all spring and sporadically throughout the summer. Two subspecies occur in the wild:hirsuta has numerous hairs on the stems and petioles and has lance shaped leaves; major is less pubescent, with leaves as described for the species. The cultivar ‘Alba’ has white flowers. ‘Oxyloba’ has deep purple flowers. There are several cultivars selected for their variegated foliage.

All the periwinkles come from Europe, central Asia and northern Africa. Big periwinkle is native to France and Italy, and eastward through the Balkans to northern Asia Minor and the western Caucasus.


Big periwinkle thrives in almost any soil, quickly forming a medium textured evergreen groundcover. Spaced on 18″ centers, big periwinkle should provide completed coverage in one year unless the site is very dry.

Light: Full sun to partial shade. Sunnier positions result in more flowers and shadier positions result in more ground covering foliage. Use the related Vinca minor for mostly shady positions.

Moisture: Big periwinkle tolerates dry soils but grows best in rich, moist soils. In full sun or in very loose soils it will need more frequent watering.

Propagation: Start new periwinkles from cuttings or by just severing off a piece of shoot that has already rooted.

Use big periwinkle for erosion control on slopes or as a groundcover in large areas – it grows too fast for small spaces. Still, you’ll have to pinch it back to keep it in bounds. Big periwinkle does great in the dappled shade under a specimen tree. Big periwinkle grows in a somewhat loose and open habit and is not quite as competitive against weeds as some groundcovers such as liriope or creeping juniper, for example. On the plus side, you can grow spring flowering bulbs likedaffodils and snowflakes right under the periwinkle foliage. Big periwinkle is also a great plant for hanging containers or window boxes which allow the glossy foliage to cascade over the sides.

The variegated form of big periwinkle also has bright blue flowers. It is a favorite for use in hanging baskets where its cream-splotched leaves are best appreciated.


Big periwinkle is a excellent groundcover which fills in rapidly and vigorously if provided with moist soil. There are about a dozen species of VincaV. major and V. minorare the most commonly cultivated.

Common periwinkle (Vinca minor) is similar but has smaller leaves that are less than 2 in (5 cm) long and smaller flowers that are 1 in (2.5 cm) or less across. It is more cold hardy and more tolerant of shade. The annual bedding plant called Madagascar periwinkle is Catharanthus roseus, although it used to be classified in the genus Vinca.


Apparently all the vincas are poisonous if ingested. Numerous alkaloids, some useful to Mankind, have been isolated from big and common periwinkle.

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Avery Park, banks of Mary's River

Avery Park, banks of Mary’s RiverVinca

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