Periwinkle (Vinca minor)


Vinca minor


  • Small, evergreen plant with showy white or purple flowers
  • Vine-like with glossy, dark green leaves
  • 5 petalled flowers that are roughly 10cm in diameter
  • Forms dense mats on forest floor

Introduction and spread

  • Planted as an ornamental groundcover, this plant is still seen for sale in nurseries. Please DO NOT sell, purchase or plant Periwinkle!

Consequences of invasion

  • Periwinkle grows rapidly and forms dense, extensive mats along the forest floor, displacing native vegetation including tree seedlings.

Status in the CKISS region

  • Periwinkle has become widespread in the CKISS region, and its management priority is classified as Strategic Control on the CKISS Annual Priority List.

  • While it is not realistic to eradicate this species at the landscape level, this species may be treated at high priority sites (e.g. wildlife habitat, corridors of spread, adjacent to agricultural land, restoration sites, etc.) based on specific land management objectives.
  • To learn more about how CKISS classifies and manages invasive species, see our Invasive Species Priority Lists page.

Integrated pest management options

  • Periwinkle can be pulled by hand, dug or raked up, being sure to remove underground portions.
  • Where appropriate, mowing can be used to cut plants back but must be repeated regularly.
  • Treatment must be repeated for several years.
  • Become PlantWise and learn about Grow Me Instead. Select alternative, non-invasive groundcovers.

Additional resources