Periwinkle, also known as Vinca, is an attractive perennial ground cover with long trailing branches which root at the nodes when they contact the ground. The leaves are opposite and ovate to ovate-lanceolate in shape. They range from 3-9 cm long.
The flowers are blue and range from 3-5 cm wide with hairs in the throat. The corolla tube is about 2 cm long with truncated lobes.
Vinca spreads easily due to rooting of the nodes and has been widely used as a good, hardy ground cover. It can get out of control in the garden and can be difficult to eradicate due to the numerous stems and more numerous roots. I have been successful pulling the plants, making sure to dig up all roots. I usually have to pull up any remaining roots which have begun to grow several months later.
Periwinkle is used as an ornamental ground cover in gardens, on banks, and under trees.
Native to Europe, periwinkle is an occasional escapee from gardens and yards, generally found in disturbed soils in open forests across North America. In the west, it is generally found west of the Cascades.