Periwinkles are flowering shrubs that belong to the dogbane, Apocynaceae family. Read down to know more about periwinkle plants.
Typically we associate this flower with its beautiful colors that look so good in a flower bed or bouquet. However, the periwinkle offers so much more.
The periwinkle has been adored by humans since the early ages. It is a flower that has a rich and mystical history as a herbal remedy and amazingly a magical charm ingredient. Originating across Europe and Madagascar there is a surprising amount to learn about the periwinkle plant.
If you’re looking to grow something new or simply want to learn more about this intriguing flower, you’ve come to the right place.
To help improve your knowledge of the periwinkle we have compiled a list of all the different types from around the world, looking at their benefits and unique characteristics.
If this is something you like the sound of, be sure to keep reading.
The first periwinkle flower on our list is the alba periwinkle, also known by the name Vinca minor. This variety of periwinkle only has small blooms and leaves that emerge from the plant in spring. The delicate flowers of this periwinkle are white in color.
There is also another variety of this flower called Alba Pena. This periwinkle features an extremely beautiful double-flower but sadly it is quite uncommon to find them. Vinca minor flowers are commonly used in the treatment of hair and skin conditions.
The aureovariegata flower not only has a beautiful blue flower, but it also has gorgeous golden, yellow foliage and leaves that are yellow at the tips. As it is a trailing flower, this periwinkle is a great addition to your garden if you’re looking to cover small areas.
The flower on the aureovariegata has five delicate petals that form a star shape. Blooming in late summer it is sure to add plenty of color and life to any yard. Some even use the plant to grow hedges around their garden as it grows up to 10 feet tall.
Native to Madagascar the blue pearl periwinkle is arguably the bluest of blue periwinkle flowers, certainly in Madagascar. If you want to add deep dark colors to your flower bed this should be your first choice.
The foliage on the plant is a deep dark green color and the flowers are so blue they almost don’t look real. The outer part of each petal is extremely dark blue with the flower getting lighter and lighter towards the center. Having said that, even at its center this flower is still very dark.
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This type of periwinkle flower is a relatively new variety compared to others. The illumination periwinkle has vibrant, small leaves that are yellow in color with a tiny strip of green running along the edges.
Growing up to 30 feet tall and blooming in April, the delicate, purple-blue five-petaled flowers on this plant grow at the end of each thin, yet sturdy stem. Despite being a tall plant the illumination flower is still regularly planted in containers. People choose to do this because it looks so nice.
You can probably already tell what color this hardy annual plant is. The petals on the apricot delight flower are a peachy-yellow color with a blood-red center.
Growing up to 11 inches tall it is a low maintenance flower that can be grown easily in containers or flower beds in hot and dry or wet and cool conditions. A lot of people choose to grow this round flower in hanging baskets as it makes a lovely ornamental flower.
A lover of full sun or partial shade the Bowles variety of periwinkle is a hardy plant that is very easy to establish. This versatile plant grows in large bush-like clumps of vibrant green foliage. Growing from the plant are soft but pointed leaves and tiny clusters of lavender-colored flowers.
The Bowles variety of periwinkle does grow quite slowly so you may need to plant a few plants close together if you want to experience the full effect of this attractive plant.
The next type of periwinkle flower on our list is the atropurpurea plant. Also referred to as the Wine Vinca, this plant blooms large burgundy colored flowers that start emerging from April to September. Though the plant isn’t invasive it is actually a vining plant that can grow up to 12 inches wide.
This makes it a great border plant to grow at the base of your shrubs. Growing well in partial sun or shade and almost any soil, you shouldn’t have any trouble growing this plant.
Once a patented periwinkle the passion flower can now be grown by anybody, which is great because it looks fantastic. Growing to a height of 1.5 feet the flower on the passion periwinkle plant is beautifully red in color with a lighter pink and white center in the middle.
The petals on the flower delicately overlap to produce a soft, sweet-looking flower that adds bright, yet subtle color to a garden.
While it is generally unsafe to eat the flowers on this plant, in the past the passion periwinkle flower has been used to treat diarrhea, chest pains, tonsillitis, and high blood pressure.
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Cora Vinca was the first species of Madagascan periwinkle to be resistant to aerial Phytophthora fungus which is a devastating disease that until now prevented the growth of the species in some parts of the U.S. including Texas.
Unlike other periwinkle varieties, this species also blooms for longer and grows taller. Reaching over a foot tall the petals on this flower overlap to create a unique whirling effect. The flowers can be white, pink, lilac, violet, or purple in color.
Blue And Gold (Vinca Minor)
The blue and gold periwinkle is a little less known and also a little more unique. This variety of periwinkle is a trailing evergreen perennial or shrub that bears a glossy, dark green foliage with yellow-tipped leaves.
From mid-spring and into autumn the plant produces small delicate flowers with petals that can range from purple to blue depending on the time of year.
Just like its name would suggest this periwinkle has purple flowers that have a double-flower form. Typically grown as an evergreen groundcover or pretty addition to a hanging basket, the double purple flower also has a stunning dark green glossy foliage that provides a flower bed with color all year round.
Interestingly the flower on this plant has been used to treat internal bleeding and when crushed has been applied to open wounds.
To grow the next periwinkle on our list you should use loamy, sandy soil that is moist but well-drained with exposure to partial or full sun. Growing to approximately 6 inches tall, the moonlit plant spreads in all directions producing double-lavender flowers and yellow foliage as it grows.
Despite having a similar star-shaped flower, this type of periwinkle has petals that are slightly more ovate or rectangular in shape. This plant would make a great addition to any flower bed.
The parasol periwinkle is one of the first periwinkle varieties to have overlapping petals. The overlapping petals close the gaps from petal to petal to help form a delightful-looking round flower.
Usually, this sweet flower has a pure white color to it with a bright red center. Hybrids of this flower are so impressive that the flower has won awards across America.
Ralph Shugert periwinkles are actually part of the Bowles variety of periwinkle. The flower on this trailing shrub is easily one of our favorites. The large more circular flowers come in sky blue and a vivid deep violet color that adds tremendous color to a flower bed.
That’s not all that’s impressive with this plant. Reaching heights of 4 inches and a spread of 3 feet, the Ralph Shugert variety has lush dark green foliage with a striking narrow white border. It is worth noting that this flower is surprisingly patented.
This means you can unfortunately not grow it without permission which is a shame because the flower is stunning.
A winner of many international awards, the Variegata flower isn’t just famous because of its flower. Growing up to 18 inches tall this type of periwinkle has a large glossy, vibrant foliage that often stands taller than the plant. In terms of the flower, it is quite similar to most periwinkle flowers.
It has five petals and a purple-lavender color. Aside from winning awards the flower on this plant has tonic properties that can help treat lung problems, congestion, and diarrhea.
That concludes our list of the different types of periwinkle plants. Are you surprised at how many there are? Periwinkle flowers have enthralled people for thousands of years, not just because of their natural beauty, but also thanks to their many uses in medicine and magic.
Nowadays we have moved away from the periwinkle’s magical and medicinal properties and instead appreciate them for the vast amount of color and versatility they bring to our gardens.
Coming in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, periwinkles can be used to line a path, fill a flower bed, hang from a hanging basket, and of course be used in a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Now you know more about the different types of periwinkle flowers why don’t you start growing your own. Growing some of the flowers from our list will give you the opportunity to add bursts of color and life to your garden.
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