Identifying Greater Periwinkle

The 5 partially fused petals of Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major, resemble a windmill or propeller.
© Karen Andrews

Sometimes apparently simple flowers can turn out to be some of the most beautiful. They tend to go largely unnoticed against spectacular garden cultivars in the summer. Your appreciation for the simplest flower is renewed in winter when there is little else around. The Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major) is just such a flower with 5, partially fused petals that remind you of a windmill or propeller.

Side view of Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major) reveals 4 of the 5 sepals. © Karen Andrews

Distinguishing Hairs Visible with Hand Lens

A hand lens is a useful botanical magnifying tool to help you identify small features 
© Karen Andrews

The identification of other distinguishing characteristics requires a hand lens. You should then be able to see tiny hairs on the sepals (above) and on the edges of the evergreen leaves (below). These hairs are absent on Lesser Periwinkle, Vinca minor.

Visible hairs along dark green, evergreen leaf margins help identify Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major)
© Karen Andrews

Copyright Note

Karen does not seek or receive any commercial interest or advantage from this blog. She is not promoting any business venture. She simply loves to share fascinating facts about plants. These pages illustrate her love of plants, botany, biodiversity, gardens and creative expression. There is always so much to learn about plant diversity. This blog is designed as a showcase for photography, commentary on plants and wildlife, gardens and other places visited, horticulture and related topics. Viewpoints are her own, not those of her employer.

© Karen Andrews 2018 onwards. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karen Andrews and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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