Catharanthus lanceus (Bojer ex A.DC.) Pichon
Vinca lancea, Lochnera lancea, Tachiadenus parviflorus
Color: White or cream to pink, reddish-violet or pink-magenta
Bloom Time: From summer to frost
Catharanthus lanceus is a herbaceous perennial plant with a carrot-shaped, up to 32 inches (70 cm) long taproot. It grows up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall. Leaves are opposite, green, oblong to narrowly ovate, up to 1.8 inches (4.5 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) wide. Its fragrant flowers feature white or cream corolla lobes turning pink, reddish-violet, or pink-magenta.
USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Madagascar Periwinkle is native to Madagascar but is naturalized in most of the tropical world and warmer climates in the United States. It can be found in various woodland, forest, and grassland locales, but one of its primary uses is a bedding plant in highway medians or commercial landscapes. Madagascar Periwinkle also makes a striking clumping plant for home gardens as ground cover, in beddings or edgings, or containers.
Unlike many other plants, Madagascar Periwinkle is best suited for poor, well-drained soil and may even fail to thrive in soils that are too fertile. These plants need regular moisture but don't do well with overhead watering. Madagascar Periwinkle is easily propagated with semi-ripe cuttings planted in light compost with bottom heat and high humidity or by seeds kept in the dark at 71 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 25 degrees Celsius) until germination. The leaves may curl during the heat of the day but recover with evening dew. The flowers drop off after blooming and don't require deadheading.
This species is endemic to Madagascar.
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