Vinca major, Bigleaf Periwinkle

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener January 28, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Vinca major, Bigleaf Periwinkle

Bigleaf periwinkle is an invasive evergreen to semi-evergreen trailing vine that reaches to over 6.6 ft. (2 m) in length. The stems are stout, somewhat woody, and green. The opposite, glossy leaves are 1.5 to 2.5 in. (3.8 to 6.4 cm) long and heart-shaped to elliptical. Some varieties have variegated leaf colors. Flowers are violet to blue (possibly white), 1.5 to 2 in. (3.8 to 5.1 cm) wide, and five-petaled. Bigleaf periwinkle invades open to shady forests often around former plantings at old home sites. It forms dense and extensive mats along forest floors that exclude native vegetation. Bigleaf periwinkle is native to Europe and was first introduced into North America in the 1700s as an ornamental. It is still commonly sold as an ornamental ground cover.

What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Gentianales > Apocynaceae > Vinca major L.

Synonym(s): large periwinkle, greater periwinkle, periwinkle

Vinca major - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

Bigleaf periwinkle - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS

Cooperative Extension Offices - Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Vine

Bigleaf periwinkle is an invasive evergreen to semi-evergreen trailing vine that reaches to over 6.6 ft. (2 m) in length.

Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, bugwood.org Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, bugwood.org

Foliage

The opposite, glossy leaves are 1.5 to 2.5 in. (3.8 to 6.4 cm) long and heart-shaped to elliptical. Some varieties have variegated leaf colors.

Pedro Tenorio-Lezama, bugwood.org James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org

Flower

Flowers are violet to blue (possibly white), 1.5 to 2 in. (3.8 to 5.1 cm) wide, and five-petaled.

Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org

Chris Evans, River to River CWMA bugwood.org Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, bugwood.org

Fruit

 

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

Native Species That Resemble Bigleaf Periwinkle

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Bigleaf Periwinkle

Bigleaf periwinkle - Images at Invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Bigleaf Periwinkle

 

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your land-grant university's College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Plant Profile - Cal-IPC

Jepson Herbarium - University of California

Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy

Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service

Fire Effects Information System - USDA Forest Service


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.