Plantidote of the Day 2011-02-22
Periwinkle or myrtle
Periwinkle is a trailing perennial that loves shade. The ones in the photograph are growing under 30-foot tall liquidambars, so they get no direct sun at all and are very happy about that. There are two common varieties of periwinkle -- vinca major, which grows in Zones 5 through 24, and a smaller version -- vinca minor or dwarf periwinkle -- which is good in all zones. Both types are fairly easy to grow as long as they have moderate amounts of water.
Although the name 'periwinkle' is synonymous with the purple-blue color in the flowers above, new varieties include neon blue, pink, white and red. The plant's only downside is a tendency to become invasive, especially in forested areas.
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