BugwoodWiki Article

common periwinkle
Vinca minor L.


Vinca minor is a vine-like erect or trailing groundcover; mostly evergreen; stems slender.
Leaves are opposite, dark green, glossy, oval to lance-shaped, thick-textured; may be variegated.
Flowers are blue, lavender or white, about 1 in. (2.5 cm) across, five petals blunt at tip, arranged in spiral; blooms in springtime.
No fruits or seeds typically. Spreads vegetatively through rhizomes.
Ecological Threat
Vinca minor has escaped cultivation and is invading natural areas throughout the eastern U.S. It inhabits open to shady sites including forests and often escapes from old homesites. Vinca minor grows vigorously and forms dense and extensive mats along the forest floor, displacing native herbaceous and woody plant species. Vinca minor was first introduced into North America in the 1700s as an ornamental. It is still commonly sold as an ornamental ground cover.



EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Invasive Listing Sources

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Vinca

Other System Links

Plants: VIMI2
Bayer: VINMI
GRIN: 41680
ITIS: 30238
NPDN Host: 33103

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
lesser periwinkle, myrtle


Category: Forbs/Herbs
Category: Vines