Lesser Periwinkle
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Lesser Periwinkle
ntroduced Photo: Tabish
Common name: Lesser periwinkle
Botanical name: Vinca minor    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)

Lesser periwinkle - a perennial evergreen herb with creeping stems reaching 30 inches long. The plants often form a thick mat. Glossy, dark green, oval to oblong leaves, 2 inches long, grow in pairs on short leafstalks. The single blue to violet or, rarely, white flowers (May-June) rise from the leaf axils and produce two small slender seedpods. In addition to its antihemorrhaging qualities, lesser periwinkle has been named as an astringent, as a remedy for "nervous disorders," and as a treatment for high blood pressure. Like many herbs, periwinkle once had ties with magic and superstition. Supposedly the herb could ward off evil spirits, and in some places lesser periwinkle was held that no witch would dare enter a home where it hung at the entrance. In France the flower of lesser periwinkle is sometimes referred to as violette des sorciers, or "violet of the sorcerers."
Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Nainital
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