BugwoodWiki Article

big periwinkle
Vinca major L.


Evergreen to semievergreen vines, some-what woody, trailing or scrambling to 3 ft. (1 m) long and upright to 1 ft. (30 cm).
Foliage is opposite, glossy and hairless, some-what thick, with margins slightly rolled under. Leaves are heart-shaped to somewhat triangular to elliptic, 1.5-2.5 in. (4-6 cm) long and 1-1.5 in. (2.5-4 cm) wide, with petioles 0.2-0.4 in. (5-10 mm) long.
Violet to blue lavender (to white), with five petals radiating pinwheel-like at right angles from the floral tube. Flowers from 1.5-2 in. (4-5 cm) wide with a 0.6-0.8 in. (1.5-2 cm) long tube. Five sepals long lanceo-late, about 0.4 in. (1 cm), hairy margined. Blooms April to May, then sporadically to September.
Slender, cylindrical fruit up to 2 in. (5 cm) long. Splitting when dry to release three to five seeds.
Ecological Threat
Found around old homesites and scattered in open to dense canopied forests. Forms mats and extensive infestations even under forest canopies by vines rooting at nodes. Introduced from Europe in 1700s. Ornamental ground cover, commonly sold and planted by gardeners.


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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

Taxonomic Rank

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

Other System Links

Plants: VIMA
Bayer: VINMA
GRIN: 41679
ITIS: 30237
NPDN Host: 33104

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle, periwinkle


Category: Vines
Category: Forbs/Herbs