Choose a country to see content specific to your location

A picture of a Madagascar Periwinkle

Madagascar Periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus

Also known as

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

Catharanthus roseus24 08 2012 (1) by Joydeep (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Tender

H1c

RHS hardiness

5°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

60cm

Max

60cm

30cm

Min

30cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

Catharanthus roseus 6576
Catharanthus roseus (São Luís - Brasil)
A photo of Madagascar Periwinkle
A photo of Madagascar Periwinkle

Overview

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. Madagascar periwinkles make excellent additions to annual beds, or even houseplants.

Common problems

Susceptible to red spider mite and whitefly.

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

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.

MORE TO EXPLORE

White Flowering Summer Plants

Love white flowers and looking for summer inspiration.

Explore White Flowering Summer Plants