Garden

Vinca, - Catharanthus roseus

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Periwinkle general of madagascar

Madagascar vinca is a plant that easily adapts to various cultivation conditions: it grows well in the apartment, on windowsills and balconies, but also in the garden in the ground. It is appreciated for its almost continuous growth and flowering, from April to October. It does not require excessive care and is available in a wide range of colors.

For all these reasons, it remains a first choice for both the most experienced and novice gardeners. Remember, however, that it is toxic in all its parts: we always monitor children and pets carefully.

Catharanthus roseus is a small evergreen perennial shrub native to Madagascar; these small plants fear the cold a lot, therefore they are grown as annual plants. The species of win rosea reach 30-34 cm in height, the leaves are oval, dark green in color, furrowed by showy light veins. From April-May to the first autumn colds win they produce innumerable small five-petal flowers, white or pinkish, with a contrasting eye; on the market there are numerous cultivars with red, bright pink or purple flowers. Often used in annual flower beds, vinca produce abundant blooms, especially during the summer months; if desired, it is possible to preserve some specimens from the cold, placing them in a tempered greenhouse to suffer from October.


Origins and characteristics

This herbaceous, belonging to the Apocynaceae family, originates from the tropical areas of Africa, in particular from the rain forests of Madagascar. They belong to the genus Catharanthus, subdivided in turn into about 10 species, perennial and annual (but which we renew every year anyway) herbaceous and semi-woody.

In their spontaneous state, today they are widespread in all mild areas of the planet to the point that in some contexts they are proving invasive, despite their undoubted aesthetic value.

In Europe the most widespread species in cultivation is undoubtedly the Catharanthus roseus: it is a very branched herbaceous plant, but with a rather compact habit. The leaves are green, lanceolate, of a beautiful dark green with lighter veins.

Flowering and posture

From mid spring to autumn (but it is also possible to force it to have winter blooms) it produces corollas made up of 5 petals, in the colors from white to pink to red to lilac. Usually the center is contrasting, lighter or darker. The cultivars also differ in their bearing and height that they can reach: the most contained and bushy, suitable for pots or as ground cover, they grow up to 30 cm. The highest ones touch the meter and are more suitable for cultivation in mixed borders. We have recently selected excellent decombent varieties to be inserted in balconies or in hanging baskets.

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