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VINCA major

Image of Vinca major

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Apocynaceae

Botanical Name

VINCA major

Plant Common Name

Greater Periwinkle

General Description

Unsurpassed at quickly producing a sea of lush green groundcover, this creeping broadleaf evergreen shrub also offers abundant showy bloom every spring. A Mediterranean native, it was well known by the Romans and spread far and wide by them. Its long lax shoots root at the tips to form large masses of glossy dark green oval leaves. Intensely blue flowers the size of a large coin cover the foliage in late spring. Fertile seed is not produced in cultivation. This somewhat tender shrub is perhaps best known in the form of 'Variegata', with white-edged leaves.

Greater periwinkle does well in both sun and shade, but loses much of its lushness in hot summer afternoon sun. It can tolerate extended periodic drought, then green up and grow vigorously once water returns. Use it under old shade trees, on erosion-prone slopes, and in other problem areas. It is perfect for dangling over the edges of walls or large pots. Its value as a vigorous, drought resistant creeper cannot be overstated, although in some areas of the western and southern United States it is invasively rampant.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 7

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    18"-0" / 45.7cm - 0.0cm

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Mediterranean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Blue

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Groundcover, Hanging Basket

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No