About This Species
Common periwinkle was an ornamental groundcover popular for its fast growth, dense coverage, shiny evergreen leaves, and showy purple flowers. However, it has since escaped captivity and become a pest in forests, choking out native plant species. Common periwinkle prefers shaded, moist conditions such as along water courses and in forested areas. It spreads rapidly via seed, roots, and stems. This 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
Leaves are 3-9 cm long, glossy, dark green, and egg-shaped growing on long evergreen stems that form thick mats. Its 20-30 mm wide, purple to white 5-petalled flowers are visible in late spring to early summer. Fruits are 3-5 cm long cylindrical pods.
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Common periwinkle Factsheet
If you need advice about invasive species on your property or you are concerned about reported invasives in your local area, contact your local municipality or regional invasive species organization.
Learn about best practices
A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of Common periwinkle include:
- Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis, C. suecica, C. unalaschkensis)
- Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
- False lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum)
- Small-flowered alumroot (Heuchera micrantha)
- Kinnickinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)