Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Subshrub
Periwinkle is a creeping perennial evergreen vine in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) that can reach up to 6-8 inches in height. Long creeping stems commonly root at nodes and form mats. Leaves are simple, opposite, shiny, 2 inches long and taper at both ends. Blue- violet flowers are composed of five fused petals and can be found blooming in early spring and sometimes in summer and fall. Fruits are inconspicuous, brown, and beanlike.
Ecological Threat: Common periwinkle poses a threat to native plants and communities because it grows vigorously, forming a dense monotypic evergreen groundcover that displaces and excludes most other plants, including native wildflowers.
Biology & Spread: Periwinkle reproduces by root expansion and rooting where nodes touch the ground.
History: Introduced from Europe in 1700s. Ornamental ground cover, commonly sold and planted by gardeners.
U.S. Habitat: Found around old homesite plantings and scattered in open to dense canopied forests. Form mats and extensive infestations even under forest canopies by vines rooting at nodes, with viability of seeds yet to be reported.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: Europe, W. Asia (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AL, AR, AZ, CT, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
List All Observations of Vinca minor reported by Citizen Scientists
Mitchella repens L., which has cordate leaves, white twin flowers, and red berries. Also, may resemble yellow jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) St. Hil., which has wider spaced leaves and reddish stems, often white waxy.
Periwinkle can be removed by digging, raising the runners with a rake, and mowing the plants. All of the plant must be removed. It can also be controlled by cutting the plants in the spring followed by applying a glyphosate herbicide to the regrowth.USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
www.forestimages.org, http://plants.usda.gov, www.nps.gov/plants/alien,
Czarapata, Elizabeth J. Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest, An Illustrated Guide to their Identification and Control, 2005 p. 98-99,
Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp (USDA SRS).
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