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- Periwinkle (Creeping Myrtle)-Vinca minor Hardy Planting Zones- 4-8 Sun or Shade – Partial to Full Shade Mature Height - 3-6" (vines to 18" long) Mature Width- 6-18" Bloom Season – Late Spring (May-June) Gardener Status- Novice-Experienced
Creeping Myrtle is also called Vinca Minor
Scientific Name: Vinca Minor, Creeping Myrtle
Shrub Height: 16 inches
Shrub Width: 36 inches
Soil Type: It prefers moist, well-drained soil, but will tolerate poor and dry.
Sun: It prefers shade.
Creeping myrtle is also known as dwarf periwinkle and lesser periwinkle
Its other names include small periwinkle and common periwinkle.
It is often used as ground cover and does not grow very high, or climb, although it can bunch together in places to reach over twelve inches in height. It can be found growing native to southern Europe but can be located in the Netherlands, Portugal, France, and across North America. Creeping myrtle is easily distinguished by its purple, five-petal flower and waxy leaves. The fruit is two follicles approximately one-inch long. Each follicle produces over a dozen seeds.
Creeping Myrtle excels at preventing weeds through smothering, and has few pests or diseases that affect its growth
In North America, it is considered an invasive species, but it can be removed by uprooting during spring. It is deemed to be difficult to remove and requires persistent cutting and chemical treatments. If removal is desired, it is suggested the plant be dug entirely up against where possible.
This vine-like perennial plant produces tubular, lavender-blue flowers from its leaf axils in spring. The delicate flowers continue to bloom sporadically throughout summer and into fall. The color name periwinkle is derivative of the flowers of this plant, also known as Common Periwinkle.
The trailing stems root at the leaf nodes and rapidly spread to create a lovely, dense ground cover. Though not as invasive as its larger leafed relative, Vinca major, Creeping Myrtle is quite vigorous. Once this fast-growing plant becomes established, it is complicated to eradicate. Due to its hardiness, this plant is an excellent choice for areas with poor soil and drainage. It is also very helpful in erosion control applications.
Creeping myrtle is a popular choice for a ground cover.