Flowers are often famous for either their smell or their visuals that catches the heart many. However very little attention is paid to flowers that grow locally and doesn’t belong to the ‘exotic’ category of plants. Vinca minor or as it is locally known, Periwinkle is one such flower plant. It is a perennial, evergreen flower plant that has a quick growth rate and not much of a fragrance. Apart from the pre-dominantly white and pink periwinkle flowers, the Vinca genus also includes other color variations such as blue, maroon-red, faded-pink, purple etc. In this article, the focus will be on the maroon-red flower plant of Vinca Genus known as Vinca Cora.
The periwinkle plant – Catharanthus roseus also known as rosy periwinkle or Vinca Cora Red, is a lovely small plant that grows outside very well but also finds itself at home in a summer window.
Vinca Cora Red features large, dark red blooms along glossy green foliage. The stunning scarlet flowers of ‘Cora Red’ annual vinca have a white eye that gives the plant an extra dose of personality. Vinca plants are native to North America, Europe, China and India.
Vinca or Periwinkle is a prolific heat and drought tolerant annual, perfect for hot, dry areas. This small upright plant grows to about a maximum height of 14 inches. The leaves of Vinca are very shiny and long, with a clear almost white center vein.
Periwinkle plants are easy to grow and care for. Provide them a well-drained moist soil, plenty of bright light, warm temperatures 65° F and above and they will do wonderfully out on the patio or deck as potted plants.
Take care not to overwater this plant as it’s easily susceptible to root rot.
Taking care of Vinca
- Lower Leaves Turing Yellow and Falling Off
When lower foliage turn yellow and fall off, it usually is the sign of too much water or the plant has been subjected to cold.
Back off the water or if it is cold related, move the plant to a warmer position.
- Leaves Droop and Fall
When leaves hang, droop and fall, it normally is a periwinkle plant growing in a pot and has dried out too much. The best solution is to drop the whole pot into a bucket of Luke warm water for at least half an hour.
When the weather is warm, plants may need to be watered daily.
Uses Of Periwinkle Plant
Apart from functioning as a ground cover to areas where grass won’t grow, periwinkle also serve as a source of alkaloids for medicinal use. With a total of 86 alkaloids, the periwinkle plant extract covers a lot of benefits.
One of its products is vinpocetine, a synthetic derivative coming from the vincas alkaloid vincamine. This compound aids short-term memory and serves as an anti-aging agent.
Vincristine and vinblastine can treat various forms of cancer such as leukemia, child cancers, hodgkin disease or hodgkin lymphoma, and other types of lymphoma.