Go Back Madagascar periwinkle, rose periwinkle

Catharanthus roseus
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Plant Type: Annuals

Madagascar periwinkle is a semiwoody evergreen perennial, usually grown as an annual in the flower bed. In frost free climates it develops a woody stem near the base and can get 2-3 ft (0.6-0.9 m) tall and spread out just as wide. As annuals, they are usually smaller and more prostrate. Madagascar periwinkle has opposite glossy leaves about 2-3 in long, borne on fairly rigid stems. The five petaled flowers are typically rose pink, but among the many cultivars are those with pink, red, purple and white flowers. The flowers are tubular, with a slender corolla tube about 1 in long that expands to about 1.5 in across. They are borne singly throughout most of the summer. Like other members of the dogbane family, the broken stem of Madagascar periwinkle exudes a milky latex sap.

Many beautiful selections of this fine bedding plant are available. The Cooler series of cultivars are low growing compact plants with rounded, overlapping petals in a variety of pastels. The Carpet series includes selections that are just 3-4 in tall and spread out 2 ft; they are great for groundcovers. The Pretty series includes compact, multiflowered plants around 12 in. ‘Morning Mist’ has large white flowers with rose colored centers. ‘Parasol’ has the largest flowers of all – 2 in wide and white with pink centers on robust 2 ft plants.

Currently not available for online purchase.

Growing & Maintenance Tips:

After all the freak hot spells and cold snaps of autumn, it alone remains in the garden, briskly growing! This is a plant that can take climate stress of all types in stride.

Flower Color

Red or burgundy

Foliage Color


Plant Spread

25 in.

Good Companions


Plant Height

14-16 in.

Scape Height

Hardness Zone


Soil Moisture

Average water needs

Characteristics & Attributes


Container, Bed, Border, Ground cover

Bloom Time

All summer

Critter Resistance


Full sun

Growth Rate

Seasonal Interests