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1423 Views 7 Replies Last post: Apr 17, 2012 1:56 PM by Jen RSS
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Apr 13, 2012 11:27 AM

Name please for this beautiful wild flower.

This plant grows wild near where I live in london. I thought it was morning glory but if you look at the sepals in the side view they are very different. Plese can you identify it for me. The leaves are thick and waxy.

 

 

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    Apr 13, 2012 11:37 AM (in response to Gargoyle)
    Re: Name please for this beautiful wild flower.
    This is Vinca in the family Apocynaceae. It is either Vinca major or Vinca minor. To determine which I think you will need to check whether the leaves have hairs on the edge, major - hairs, minor - no hairs. Commonly known as Periwinkle.
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      Apr 13, 2012 12:08 PM (in response to hairymallow)
      Re: Name please for this beautiful wild flower.
      But the periwinkle plant leaves tips are not pointed. Though it looks like periwinkle, it must be something else.
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        Apr 16, 2012 2:51 PM (in response to Gargoyle)
        Re: Name please for this beautiful wild flower.

        Yes this helps clarify things, although if you looked at the leaf margins on the original picture the pubescence was just visible. So as Hairymallow said - hairs = V. major L - Greater Periwinkle. It has bigger flowers than minor (as the names would suggest generally >3cm vs <3cm and bigger leaves. Vinca difformis is another bigger flowered species native to southern Europe which is increasingly being grown - there are several colour forms in cultivation but it too lacks pubescence.

        regards

        Fred

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            Apr 17, 2012 1:56 PM (in response to Gargoyle)
            Re: Name please for this beautiful wild flower.

            Hi,

            it is an evergreen and a very good ground cover though it can become invasive where the conditions suit it particularily well. It isn't a native of the UK, though has become very widespread as a garden escape. It's origins are in Southern and Eastern Europe/Mediterranean. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinca_major

            The Vinca alkaloids you refer to as having medicinal properties are derived from the Madagascar Periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus, which used to be known as Vinca rosea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharanthus_roseus

            I am not sure if Vinca major has similar alkaloid compounds of medicinal use, but probably not as these compounds have evolved in plants as defence against herbivory and the evolutionary pressures re: herbivory, environmental stresses, growing seasons and genetic factors on Catharanthus roseus will have been very different from those on Vinca major.

            I hope this ansswers some of your questions and is of interest.

            Jen

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