Madagascar Periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus

Cape Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle, Old Maid, Bright-Eyes, Graveyardplant, Old-Maid-Flower, Pink Periwinkle

profile iconCatharanthus roseus24 08 2012 (1)
by Joydeep (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 9
profile iconCatharanthus roseus24 08 2012 (1)
by Joydeep (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 9
In the wild, the Madagascar periwinkle is an endangered plant (the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture). It is however widely cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the world. A water-wise evergreen hardy perennial flourishing in neglected garden areas. This species produces attractive rosy-pink or white flowers measuring approximately 4cm across, with 5 wedge-shaped petals.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer

Fruiting time

Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

Harvest seeds when seed capsules are ripe(brown and dried).

Propagation

Seed

Sow seed in early spring directly in a well prepared flower bed with compost.

Cuttings

Root softwood cuttings in late spring and semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Special features

Drought resistant

Pot plant

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Attracts butterflies

Special features

Origin

Indian Ocean, Africa and Madagascar.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline, Acid

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

Roots and shoots, though poisonous, are used against several diseases by Indian healers also used in traditional Chinese medicine against diseases like, diabetes, malaria, and Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Personality

Family

Apocynaceae

Flower colour

Pink, White

Scent

None

Problems

Susceptible to red spider mite and whitefly.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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