The Bugwood Network
NPS and USFWS

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.



Periwinkle
Vinca minor

Common periwinkle is a vine or subshrub in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) that is native to Europe and was introduced for ornamental purposes many decades ago. It occurs throughout the United States in at least 36 states, has escaped cultivation and is invading natural areas. Common periwinkle poses a threat to native plants and communities because it grows vigorously, forming a dense monotypic evergreen groundcover that displaces and excludes most other plants, including native wildflowers. It spreads by vegetative means only. Flower color can be blue, lilac or white. Several close relatives of this plant, including bigleaf periwinkle (Vinca major), imported from Europe, and Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus), native only to Madagascar, are also invasive in natural areas in the mid-Atlantic and other regions of the United States and the world.

Periwinkle
Jil Swearingen, NPS
Periwinkle
Michael Clayton, UWI

Prevention and Control
Periwinkle can be removed by digging, raising the runners with a rake, and mowing the plants. All of the plant must be removed. It can also be controlled by cutting the plants in the spring followed by applying a glyphosate herbicide to the regrowth.

Native Alternatives
Vines:
crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

Groundcovers (use alone or mix for diversity and sustainability):
wild ginger (Asarum canadense), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), evergreen wood fern (Dryopteris marginalis or intermedia), partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia)


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.