Photo: briandrum (Flickr)
Vinca minor is a perennial ground cover which is evergreen. It trails and roots where it touches the ground, so it spreads easily. The shiny oval leaves are a good foil for spring bulbs.
In the early spring, dead leaves can be sheared off with hedge trimmers. Vinca is low maintenance and grows both in shade or sun, but does best in partial shade. It is often useful on slopes that are hard to mow. The Vinca with periwinkle blue flowers in April and May and is the most popular. However, white and purple flowering vincas are also available.
There is also an annual vinca, which is a taller bedding plant that has larger leaves and flowers. This annual Vinca is heat and drought tolerant and loves full sun.
Common Associations with Vinca Minor
Vinca minor, our perennial groundcover, is also known as common periwinkle, lesser periwinkle, and running myrtle. Because it is evergreen, Vinca minor is the symbol of fidelity and friendship. It is also the floral emblem of the city of Geneva in Switzerland.
Vinca was used medicinally for years: the shoots were boiled and eaten to prevent nightmares, and the leaves were eaten raw to stop nosebleeds. However, nowadays it is best known for being an easy groundcover with periwinkle blue flowers in spring.