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A picture of a Lesser Periwinkle

Lesser Periwinkle

Vinca minor

Also known as

Creeping Myrtle, Common Periwinkle, Myrtle, Running-Myrtle, Trailing myrtle

Photo by lovely_libianthus (All rights reserved)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Lesser Periwinkle

A photo of Lesser Periwinkle
A photo of Lesser Periwinkle

Lesser Periwinkle Overview

Vinca minor is an evergreen, mat-forming perennial from the Apocynaceae family. It is grown for its violet flowers. This plant is often found in the wild in Northern Europe. Commonly known by the names Lesser Periwinkle, Common Periwinkle and Creeping Myrtle, amongst others. Lesser Periwinkle has pretty blue, white or purple star-shaped flowers and is an attractive fast-spreading groundcover. Once established, it is drought-resistant and needs little other care. This plant can survive in full sun to partial shade can be propagated a variety of ways.

Common problems with Lesser Periwinkle

Common Periwinkle can be bothered by leafhoppers, scale insects, aphids, leaf spot, rust, and dieback.

How to harvest Lesser Periwinkle

Seeds can be harvested by bagging the seedheads to capture the ripening seeds.

How to propagate Lesser Periwinkle


Divide in early spring or mid-to late-autumn by dividing the rootball.


Direct sow seeds in autumn. Winter sow in vented containers, cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Stratify seeds if sowing indoors.


By simple layering - place a rock on a growing stem to keep contact with soil and it will root soon.


Softwood cuttings take easily if placed in a glass of water on the windowsill or placed in sandy rooting medium.

Special features of Lesser Periwinkle

Drought resistant

This plant is drought tolerant once established.

Ground cover

Attractive flowers

Attractive leaves

Other uses of Lesser Periwinkle

Ground cover, banks, ornamental. Spring/Summer interest.

Plants for Full Shade

Plants that will grow in full shade locations.

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