Vinca on My Mind

OK, just trying to clear up something in my own mind. Today, Sena planted Vinca in a pot in our backyard. It’s pink.

I’ve mentioned Vinca or periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) a few times over the years on my blog post in various contexts.

I have said that Vinca has medicinal uses because it contains alkaloids and has been used to make anticancer agents. There’s a website listing several medicinal properties. I’m not sure if they’re all accurate.

However, I think I have misidentified Vinca once or twice as creeping charlie and also called it creeping myrtle. Creeping charlie is a weed and doesn’t look anything like Vinca. Creeping myrtle might be the same thing as Vinca minor. Sena planted Vinca minor–I think. Vinca major and Vinca minor have different leaf shapes.

What is also confusing to me is that WebMD seems to think periwinkle is not the same thing as Catharanthus roseus–also called Madagascar Periwinkle. WedMD lists some information about possible harmful effects of periwinkle. That web page never calls it Vinca.

Vinca can be pink or purple. For all I know it could also come in other colors. The flowers of our Vinca don’t look quite like the images on line.

Any opinions out there about Vinca are welcome because this is on my mind now.

2 thoughts on “Vinca on My Mind

    1. Hi George. That’s what I remember and thanks for this reference. It’s interesting the authors say that the alkaloids are obtained from the Madagascar Periwinkle and they’re from the pink periwinkle plant.

      In fact, the article you found is an outstanding reference on the subject.

      The pictures in the article more closely resemble the plant Sena bought than the images I found in other on line sources. There is even a white colored variety in addition to pink and purple.

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