big periwinkle USDA PLANTS Symbol: VIMA
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vines Forbs/Herbs
Vinca major L.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Gentianales: Apocynaceae
Synonym(s): bigleaf periwinkle, large periwinkle, greater periwinkle, periwinkle
Native Range: Europe & W. Asia (REHD);

Appearance
Evergreen to semievergreen vines, some-what woody, trailing or scrambling to 3 ft. (1 m) long and upright to 1 ft. (30 cm).
Foliage
Foliage is opposite, glossy and hairless, some-what thick, with margins slightly rolled under. Leaves are heart-shaped to somewhat triangular to elliptic, 1.5-2.5 in. (4-6 cm) long and 1-1.5 in. (2.5-4 cm) wide, with petioles 0.2-0.4 in. (5-10 mm) long.
Flowers
Violet to blue lavender (to white), with five petals radiating pinwheel-like at right angles from the floral tube. Flowers from 1.5-2 in. (4-5 cm) wide with a 0.6-0.8 in. (1.5-2 cm) long tube. Five sepals long lanceo-late, about 0.4 in. (1 cm), hairy margined. Blooms April to May, then sporadically to September.
Fruit
Slender, cylindrical fruit up to 2 in. (5 cm) long. Splitting when dry to release three to five seeds.
Ecological Threat
Found around old homesites and scattered in open to dense canopied forests. Forms mats and extensive infestations even under forest canopies by vines rooting at nodes. Introduced from Europe in 1700s. Ornamental ground cover, commonly sold and planted by gardeners.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Feature(s); vines with new growth in April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Both regular and variegated varieties shown on right compared to common periwinkle on left
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; vine and leaves closeup in April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); Flower (side view) and vines in April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); in flower
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Common compared to Bigleaf flowers Summer
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Pedro Tenorio-Lezama, , Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Chiricahua National Monument (Arizona)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (Virginia)
George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virginia)
Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)
Petersburg National Battlefield (Virginia)
Richmond National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Californina)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Yosemite National Park (California)



Invasive Listing Sources:
California Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
Reichard, Sarah. 1994.  Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Invasive Plant Species List