Catharanthus roseus, known as annual vinca, should not be confused with ground covers Vinca major and minor. Annual vinca is characterized by silky, five-petaled blooms in bright coral, orange, pink and white flowers, depending on the cultivar. Growing best in the hottest days of summer, annual vinca is the perfect choice for sunny beds and container gardens. One particular benefit of vinca is the wide range of heights the plants can attain, anywhere from 6 to 18 inches tall.
Mediterranean is a newer series of vinca cultivar that will reach a height of only 6 inches but will create a trail and spread up to 2 feet out of containers, window boxes and at the edges of beds. Blooming in pretty colors of white and lilac, these most closely resemble their cousins Vinca minor and major, or common periwinkle.
For a mounded, 9-inch-tall cultivar, try the Cora series. Mounding with beautiful, glossy green foliage and large flowers, expect five different bloom shades including peach, deep red, light and dark purple and white. If happy in their location, Cora may reach even greater mounded heights of up to 16 inches.
Cultivars in the medium height category typically reach between 12 to 14 inches in height. Pacifica, a series that boasts the first true red vinca flower (Pacifica Red), also comes in purple, white, deep and light pink 2-inch blooms. Blooming in a wide range of shades in the rose family, the Cooler series has been specifically developed for lower temperature success.
For vincas in the 15- to 16-inch range, choose a cultivar like Titan. With large blooms in a huge variety of colors, Titan is a popular vinca. Topping off at 15 inches, Tropicana Bright Eye creates a brilliant contrast between the raspberry-colored eye, which fades to a rosy outer petal.
Try vinca cultivar Blue Pearl for a real statement in the garden. Peaking out at 18 inches, this white-eyed, lavender beauty will provide height and color interest. Passion vinca, also an 18-inch-tall beauty, has an exotic look, with a yellow center surrounded by cool purple petals.