Family: Apocynaceae (Periwinkle).
Other Common Names: V. major – Bigleaf periwinkle, big periwinkle; V. minor – Small periwinkle, common periwinkle.
Growth Form / Reproduction: Trailing evergreen perennials. Primarily vegetative reproduction from freely rooting stems and root fragments; can be dispersed by water. Seeds often not viable.
Legal Status: None.
Agricultural: No information available.
Ecological: In moist, shady habitats dense mats of periwinkle can compete with native vegetation and can interfere with regeneration of trees and shrubs.
Human: Used in landscapes as ornamental ground cover; medicinal uses.
Habitat: Moist, shady forests, along streams, roadsides and urban areas. Well adapted to shady areas with deep, rich soils but also grows on poor soils.
Status and Distribution: Both species are widespread in the CIPC area. Small periwinkle is found in the Capital, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, Comox Valley and Powell River Regional Districts, but it is probably found in all regional districts. Big periwinkle also is widespread and probably found in all regional districts but has been reported in the Capital and Cowichan Valley Regional Districts.
Management Strategy: All stolons and root nodes must be killed or removed for effective control. Hand removal can be effective but is difficult and requires regular monitoring to check for resprouting. Cutting or mowing alone is not recommended but can be effective when combined with an application of glyphosate. Follow-up treatments may be required in fall and again the next spring. No biocontrol agents are available.