Vinca minor
Common name: 
Dwarf Periwinkle
VING-ka MI-nor
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen ground cover, 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) tall, mat forming, spreading.  Leaves opposite, 0.6-4 cm long, elliptic, oblong, or elliptic-ovate, rounded base, entire, glossy dark green, petiole exudes a milky juice when broken.  Flowers solitary, lavender-blue, 2.5 cm diam.; this is the common form, but white, purplish, double blue cultivars available.
  • Part shade to shade, needs more care than V. major.  Several cultivars, including various variegated forms, single and and double flowers, and flower colors that range from deep purple, to blue, to white.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Europe and western Asia.
  • The Italian name for this plant is Fiore di morte (flower of death). This name derives from the fact that during the Middle Ages heads of those to be executed were adorned with stem of V. minor (MacKenzie, 1997).
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: southwest of Gilkey Hall; east side of McAlexander Field House.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • planta habit, closer

    planta habit, closer

  • leaves and flowers

    leaves and flowers

  • flowers and leaves

    flowers and leaves

  • white flowered form

    White flowered form

  • flowers, comparison

    flowers, comparison

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison