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Catharanthus roseus

Pronunciation: Kath-uh-ranth-us roe-zee-us
Family: Apocynaceae (dogbane family)
Common Name: Madagascar periwinkle, rose periwinkle
Plant Type:
  • perennial
  • annual
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • part sun
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The five petaled flowers are typically rose pink, but among the many cultivars are those with pink, red, purple and white flowers. The flowers are tubular, with a slender corolla tube about 1 in (2. 5 cm) long that expands to about 1. 5 in (3. 8 cm) across. They are borne singly throughout most of the summer. Like other members of the dogbane family, the broken stem of madagascar periwinkle exudes a milky latex sap.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Container Gardening
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Madagascar periwinkle is usually grown from seed, but also can be rooted from cuttings taken in spring or summer. It will reseed itself if the soil is loose.
Native to: This periwinkle is native to madagascar. It has escaped cultivation and naturalized in most of the tropical world where it often becomes a rampant weed. It is established in several areas in the southern u. S. Madagascar periwinkle is grown commercially for its medicinal uses in australia, africa, india and southern europe.
Notes for Identification: Where not hardy, grow madagascar periwinkle in a container or as an annual in the summer flower bed. It's great in porch planters and window boxes. It thrives in the heat of summer when true periwinkles have faded away. In frostfree regions this pretty little flower is grown in borders and beds, as an edging plant and as a ground cover. It's a great groundcover owing to its very glossy leaves and long period of bloom. Very tolerant of hot summers, madagascar periwinkle is the southern and summertime replacement for true periwinkles. Its leaves may curl during hot, dry days, but they return to normal when temperatures drop and the dew falls in the evening. Care: madagascar periwinkle does best in poor, well-drained soils. Flowering will suffer if soils are too fertile. Pinch back early in the season to encourage branching and a fuller plant. Madagascar periwinkle doesn't need deadheading - the flowers drop off when they finish blooming. Madagascar periwinkle should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought resistant once established. In fact, it is unusually drought resistant for an annual. Madagascar periwinkle is not at all tolerant of overwatering. warningmadagascar periwinkle is poisonous if ingested or smoked. It has caused poisoning in grazing animals. Even under a doctor's supervision for cancer treatment, products from madagascar periwinkle produce undesirable side effects.  
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Annual
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