Invasive Species: Vinca major, Bigleaf Periwinkle
Bigleaf periwinkle is an invasive evergreen to semi-evergreen trailing vine that reaches to over 6.6 ft. (2 m) in length. The stems are stout, somewhat woody, and green. The opposite, glossy leaves are 1.5 to 2.5 in. (3.8 to 6.4 cm) long and heart-shaped to elliptical. Some varieties have variegated leaf colors. Flowers are violet to blue (possibly white), 1.5 to 2 in. (3.8 to 5.1 cm) wide, and five-petaled. Bigleaf periwinkle invades open to shady forests often around former plantings at old home sites. It forms dense and extensive mats along forest floors that exclude native vegetation. Bigleaf periwinkle is native to Europe and was first introduced into North America in the 1700s as an ornamental. It is still commonly sold as an ornamental ground cover.
What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them?
Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species
Gentianales > Apocynaceae > Vinca major L.
Synonym(s): large periwinkle, greater periwinkle, periwinkle
Vinca major – USDA PLANTS Profile
Bigleaf periwinkle – The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)
Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important
Reporting This Invasive Species
What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species?
How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS – Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System
EDDMapS – Report an invasive species to EDDMapS
Cooperative Extension Offices – Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA
How to Identify
This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.
Bigleaf periwinkle is an invasive evergreen to semi-evergreen trailing vine that reaches to over 6.6 ft. (2 m) in length.
|Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, bugwood.org||Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, bugwood.org|
The opposite, glossy leaves are 1.5 to 2.5 in. (3.8 to 6.4 cm) long and heart-shaped to elliptical. Some varieties have variegated leaf colors.
|Pedro Tenorio-Lezama, bugwood.org||James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, bugwood.org|
Flowers are violet to blue (possibly white), 1.5 to 2 in. (3.8 to 5.1 cm) wide, and five-petaled.
|Chris Evans, River to River CWMA bugwood.org||Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, bugwood.org|
Native Species That Resemble Bigleaf Periwinkle
– Images at invasive.org
– Images at invasive.org
Additional Images for Bigleaf Periwinkle
Bigleaf periwinkle – Images at Invasive.org
Learning Resources for Bigleaf Periwinkle
Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources
Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state’s land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.
United States Land-Grant University System – Find your land-grant university’s College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.
Plant Profile – Cal-IPC
Jepson Herbarium – University of California
Element Stewardship Abstract – The Nature Conservancy
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests – USDA Forest Service
Fire Effects Information System – USDA Forest Service