Catharanthus roseus vinca Jaio Dark Red

(cath-ar-an’thus row’zee-us)

Common name: Madagascar Periwinkle, Vinca, Rose Periwinkle, Old Maid

Family: Apocynaceae, Dogbane

Height x width: 6-12" tall x 6-12" wide, species is taller but seldom seen, older cultivars were creeping

Growth rate: moderate to slow

Foliage: leaves opposite, simple, entire, ovate-oblong, glossy, mid to dark green to 2" long with pale midrib

Flowers: salverform (long thin tube, wide and flat at end) 1-2" across; mainly pink, red, white with some with contrasting center or eye; single in upper leaf axils

Hardiness: annual

Soil: well-drained, tolerates dry and poor

Light: full sun, blooms less in part shade

Pests and Problems: occasionally leaf blights, virus but none usually

Landscape habit, uses: fronts of borders, massed, containers, hot and dry sites as near paved areas, pollution as near roads

Other interest: poisonous in causing severe discomfort if ingested; from the Greek words for Pure, without blemish and flowers; native to Madagascar; alkaloids from sap used to retard leukemia

Other culture: performs poorly in cool, wet summers and far north climates unless sited properly

Propagation: generally from seeds, dark to germinate, sensitive to cold and overwatering; stems cuttings easily root from mature plants

Cultivars: those marked * are most common
Cultivar flowers other
‘Apricot Delight’ pinkish, reddish centers  
*Cooler series pastel to deep pink, white compact
Pacifica series lilac, pink, red, white basal branched
*‘Parasol’ white, rose eyes, to 2" AAS winner
*Pretty series red, pink, white AAS winners, bred at Univ. CT 
‘Terrace Vermilion’ reddish orange unusual color, tall, early

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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