Perry's Perennial Pages

Vinca minor ‘Illumination’

(veen' kah)
Perennial of the Month-- May 2002 

Common name: Vinca, Periwinkle

Family: Apocynaceae, Dogbane

Height x width: groundcover

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: opposite, glossy, gold with irregular green margins—new and unusual for this species, evergreen, flowering and non-flowering stems

Flowers: solitary, funnel-shaped, late spring to early summer, in leaf axils, blue

Hardiness: zones 4-8

Soil: moist, well-drained, tolerates poor and dry

Light: part shade to shade, tolerates sun in North if sufficient moisture

Pests and Problems: leaf spots, stem rot (seldom problems); leaves may scorch if too hot and dry in full sun

Landscape habit, uses: vigorous aggressive groundcover, slopes as for erosion control, woodland gardens, cascading from containers

Other interest: dsicovered by Christy Hensler of The Rock Garden, a retail nursery in Newport, Washington in 1995 in a bed of the species; not to be confused with the annual periwinkle Catharanthus; native to Europe; names from the Latin vincio meaning to bind, and later Middle English per wynke meaning same, refering to use in making wreaths which in Middle Ages were placed on heads of criminals on their way to execution; in Italy it was known as Fiore de morte being placed on bodies of dead infants; later and still occasionally today it is known as "Joy of the Ground"

Other culture: not to be planted where spread among other plants is not desired, less aggressive than species

Propagation: division of rooted shoots (non-flowering stems root at nodes), layering, cuttings, protected from commercial propagation

Sources: PlantHaven retailers

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