Common Periwinkle Vinca minor LinnaeusNon-native  -  Invasive

Status:

Common Periwinkle is a common invasive ground cover that has escaped from cultivation throughout Maryland. Common Periwinkle is native to central Europe and the Mediterranean area west into the Caucus region of Central Asia. Common Periwinkle was first introduced to the United States in the 1700s as an ornamental. Unfortunately, Common Periwinkle really likes the United States and is now established in most states. Common Periwinkle spreads quickly through fast growing rhizomes and can quickly invade a forested edge, making an impenetrable ground cover that quickly outcompetes native plant species.

Description:

Common Periwinkle is closely related to the more uncommon Bigleaf Periwinkle (Vinca major). The two Vinca species can be easily identified by looking at the structure of the plants. Everything about Common Periwinkle is smaller than Bigleaf Periwinkle. The leaves of Common Periwinkle are lanceolate with a cuneate base and are broadest towards the middle. Bigleaf Periwinkle leaves are more ovate with a base that is variably cordate and is broadest near the base of the leaf. The flowers of Common Periwinkle are 2 cm to 3 cm across while the flowers of Bigleaf Periwinkle are 3 cm to 5 cm across. The flower pedicels of Common Periwinkle are shorter than Bigleaf Periwinkle: 1 cm to 1.5 cm for Common Periwinkle and 3 cm to 3.5 cm for Bigleaf Periwinkle (Weakley, 2015).

There are 151 records in the project database.

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Common Periwinkle blooming in Charles Co., Maryland (3/31/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Kent Co., Maryland (4/15/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle in Harford Co., Maryland (4/5/2017). Photo by Josh Emm. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle in Prince George's Co., Maryland (2/28/2017). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Allegany Co., Maryland (4/27/2014). Photo by Kimberly Booth. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (3/23/2011). Photo by Bill Harms. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle, a common non-native species that escapes from gardens, along the C&O Canal in Montgomery Co., Maryland (3/17/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle in Severna Park, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (12/10/2015). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Kent Co., Maryland (3/27/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Caroline Co., Maryland (5/11/2014). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Kent Co., Maryland (4/22/2016). Photo by Nancy Martin. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle blooming in Worcester Co., Maryland (4/22/1982). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle in Howard Co., Maryland (4/12/1975). Photo by Robert Solem. (MBP list)

Common Periwinkle (left) with Big-leaved Periwinkle (right) in Prince George's Co., Maryland (3/31/2017). Photo by Tom Ostrowski. (MBP list)


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