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Plantidote of the Day 2011-02-22

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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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Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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