Greater periwinkle

Vinca major

Common name:

Greater Periwinkle

Scientific name:

Vinca Major

Alternative common names:

Gewone-opklim (Afrikaanss)

Perennial, evergreen herb with erect flowering stems to 450 mm high. This species prefers shaded habitats and is a weed of urban bushland, open woodlands, watercourses (i.e. riparian areas), roadsides, gardens, disturbed sites and waste areas in temperate and occasionally also sub-tropical regions. Leaves are green, sometimes with creamy margins, glossy, ovate, 25-60 mm wide. Flowers are blue- violet, sometimes white, 30- 50 mm wide with five spreading lobes, solitary in leaf axils

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Western Mediterranean

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA – Category 1b. Sterile cultivars or hybrids are not listed.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape

    How does it spread?

    Spreads vegetative by its creeping underground and aboveground stems. Longer distance dispersal can occur when stem segments and seeds are spread by water, in contaminated soil, or in dumped garden waste.

    Why is it a problem?

    Poisonous to livestock

    What does it look like?

    Leaves: Leaves are margins, petioles and sepals with minute hairs visible with hand lens. Leaves are green, sometimes with creamy margins, glossy, ovate, 25-60 mm wide Flowers: Flowers are blue- violet, sometimes white, 30- 50 mm wide with five spreading lobes, solitary in leaf axils. Flowers appear during summer Fruit/seeds: Follicle – paired woody follicles, 20- 50 mm long and 10 mm

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Cultivated for ornamental