common periwinkle USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: VIMI2
Vinca minor L.
Synonym(s): lesser periwinkle, myrtle

Common periwinkle, a common invader throughout most of the United States, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen, trailing vine that reaches up to 6.6 ft. (2 m) in length. Vines can reach a height of 6 in. (15.2 cm). The stems are slender, somewhat woody, and green in color. The opposite, glossy leaves are approximately 1 in. (2.5 cm) long and narrowly elliptical in shape. Some varieties have variegated leaf colors. Flowers are violet to blue (possibly white) in color, 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide, 5-petaled and develop in the spring. Common periwinkle invades open to shady forests often around former plantings at old homesites. It forms dense and extensive mats along forest floors that exclude native vegetation. It is native to Europe and was first introduced into North America in the 1700s as an ornamental. It is still commonly sold as an ornamental ground cover.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources