Common Periwinkle, Creeping Myrtle, Flower-of-Death, Wine Periwinkle 'Atropurpurea'

Vinca minor

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vinca (VIN-kuh) (Info)
Species: minor (MY-nor) (Info)
Cultivar: Atropurpurea
Additional cultivar information:(aka Purpurea, Rubra)




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


under 6 in. (15 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Magenta (pink-purple)

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Brunswick, Missouri

Lees Summit, Missouri

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Staten Island, New York

Glouster, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Smokerun, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Rosharon, Texas

Bellevue, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 8, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The wine-red flowers are very beautiful and make a lovely color combination with the electric blue Siberian squill. This variety is said to be less vigorous than the species.

The species Vinca minor can be aggressive in the garden and does not make a good border plant. That said, Wisconsin is the only state that's put it on its list of invasive plants. I sometimes see a carpet (monoculture) of vinca persisting by the ruins of an old homestead in the woods, but it never seems to spread beyond the old dooryard.


On Apr 5, 2009, troop1819 from Lees Summit, MO wrote:

This plant stays green late into the fall in zone 5 and we really like the flowers in the early spring. This plant does spread and could be considered invasive, but generally does not expand beyond the shade of the tree it grows under - does not like the hot summer sun. We do occasionally have to trim it back when it wants to spread over the sidewalk, but only every couple of months. Survives kids and pets walking all over it too!


On Dec 20, 2007, Fledgeling from Huron, SD wrote:

A rare flower color for vinca, very unusual. Unfortunately the dark flowers are not very noticeable and tend to get lost in the shade where vinca usually grows. The plant is bombproof, though. Can bve invasive and crowd out other plants in both the garden and the wild.


On Feb 13, 2005, collierose from Little Rock, AR (Zone 8a) wrote:

When I moved to Little Rock, AR, 20 yrs ago, this plant provided great natural ground cover in the thinner parts of the woods around my house. I was told it was planted in the 70's by a neighbor in his woods, it has spread through the whole area, acres of woods. It does well on the steep rocky slopes where the trees aren't super dense. We only water it when we have severe dry spells. Here it is very invasive and I am constantly ripping it out of places only to have if come back. I couldn't get rid of it if I wanted to. Of course its really pretty in the woods!


On Jun 29, 2003, bob47 from Stone Mountain, GA wrote:

Thanks to whoever left these behind, +20 yrs ago.
Hardy, since I'm not caring for it.
Beautiful to see popping through the fence in the spring.