Periwinkle

Photo of periwinkleThe periwinkles are flowering at the moment. I think this is lesser periwinkle, Vinca minor. It is pretty much the same as Vinca major, but smaller.

The name “Vinca” comes from the Latin vincire meaning to bind. It is a trailing plant that makes good ground cover for those of us too lazy to weed. It commonly grows wild in graveyards and is also a popular flower to weave into wreathes. The five petalled star shaped flowers form a pentagram, which associates it with all things magical. It has been imbued with talismanic properties and is thought to protect the dead. In Welsh folklore, if you pluck a periwinkle flower from a grave you will be haunted.Photo of periwinkle

The plant contains more than fifty alkaloids which are being put to use in modern medicine.

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8 thoughts on “Periwinkle

  1. Pingback: Bumblebees and Flowers | rambling ratz

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