Catharanthus lanceus (Lance-leaf Periwinkle)

Scientific Name

Catharanthus lanceus (Bojer ex A.DC.) Pichon

Common Names

Lance-leaf Periwinkle


Vinca lancea, Lochnera lancea, Tachiadenus parviflorus

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Catharanthus


Color: White or cream to pink, reddish-violet or pink-magenta
Bloom Time: From summer to frost


Catharanthus lanceus is a herbaceous perennial plant, up to 3.3 feet (1 m) tall, with a carrot-shaped taproot up to 32 inches (70 cm) long. The leaves are opposite, blade oblong to narrowly ovate, green, 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.

Catharanthus lanceus - Lance-leaf Periwinkle
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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 a variety of 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. See more at How to Grow and Care for Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus).


Native and endemic to Madagascar.


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