Vinca minor, also known as lesser periwinkle and creeping myrtle, is from the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It is a perennial vine that is fast-growing and good for beginning gardeners.
This woody stemmed vine has evergreen leaves and usually features violet blue funnel-shaped flowers, though some have white flowers or other color varieties. It makes a good ground cover, as it roots along the surface of the ground.
Creeping myrtle needs shade or full sun, producing more blooms in full sun than in shady environments. It needs moist soil.
Vinca minor is the most hardy of all periwinkles and is able to survive in USDA hardiness zones of 4 to 9. In zones 8 and 9, it will need shade due to the air temperatures.
The vinca minor can cause stomach issues if ingested. Keep away from pets, livestock and small children.
Common periwinkle contains an alkaloid named vincamine, the source of the drug vinpocetine. Both vincamine and vinpocetine are prescribed in Europe to treat memory and cerebrovascular problems.
vinca minor, common periwinkle, creeping myrtle
About this Author
T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.