Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
Invasive Plant

Common periwinkle

Vinca minor

About This Species

Common periwinkle (Lesser periwinkle, Dwarf periwinkle) was an ornamental groundcover popular for its fast growth and dense coverage that was deliberately introduced from Europe. However, it has since escaped captivity and spread rapidly through BC forest’s understories, choking out native plant species. Common periwinkle prefers shaded, moist conditions such as along water courses and in forested areas. It can reproduce through both seed and vegetativelyThis species is one of the “top six” invasive species still sold throughout BC – be sure not to purchase or trade this plant! 

How to Identify

Common periwinkle is a trailing plant and forms thick mats on the ground. It does not twine or climb trees. 

Flowers are 20-30 mm wide, purple to white 5-petalled that are visible in late spring to early summer. Fruits are 3-5 cm long cylindrical pods. 

Leaves are 3-9 cm long, glossy, dark green, and egg-shaped growing on long evergreen stems.  

Take Action

Prevention is the best approach.



Learn about best practices

A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Common periwinkle include:


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