Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vinca

The very hardy Vincas make for excellent groundcover in the shade. They are tolerant of deer, fire, flood, hail, and high winds. Vinca is generally fire resistant and does not burn easily while alive. They can tolerate wet soil for weeks if not persistant. They can be prone to leafspot, however pests and disease problems are generally rare.
Propagation is from division during spring or fall, layering or semi-ripe cuttings taken during summer.

Vinca major ( Greater Periwinkle )
A vigorous, groundcover evergreen perennial subshrub that is both larger leafed and more upright than Vinca minor reaching a maximum height of 2 ( rarely over 1.5 ) feet with a maximum spread of 10 feet if uncontained. The semi-prostrate stems root as they grow enabling the plants spread. Greater Periwinkle can climb up to 10 feet but only with support. In may be extremely invasive on ideal sites to slower growing and non-invasive in dry shade. It is often used as an annual trailer in planters and window boxes north of zone 7. Invasive in coastal California where it should not be planted. The Greater Periwinkle is native from France to Italy and the Balkans.
The broadly-oval leaves, up to 4 x 1 ( rarely over 3 ) inches, are glossy deep green.
The bright blue, tubular flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne April to July, often repeating later in the year.
Hardy zone 7 to 10 ( 6 on protected sites ) preferring partial to medium shade on just about any moist, well drained soil.
Tolerates drought, poor, limey and acidic soils.

* photos taken on Oct 30 2011 in Columbia, MD




'Variegata'
Variegated foliage that is bright green with a bold broad creamy-white margin.

* photos taken on April 15 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on May 30 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 3 2015 in Catonsville, MD

* photo taken on Apr 12 2017 in Columbia, MD


Vinca minor ( Lesser Periwinkle )
A low growing, thick mat forming, trailing evergreen perennial subshrub reaching a maximum size of 1 x 10 ( rarely over 5 inch height ) feet. It is native to deciduous woodlands from Europe to Russia, south to the northern Caucasus. It has escaped into the wild locally in upland woods from northern Wisconsin through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Tobermory, Ontario to Haliburton, Ontario to central Maine; south to northeast Texas to northern Georgia. Used as a groundcover plant 4 to 9 plants per square meter ( closer spread may give more instant impact though eventually overcrowd ). Lesser Periwinkle is an EXCELLENT lawn substitute for shady gardens especially with tree roots where turf will not grow. It even tolerates dry shade though somewhat slower growing.
The thick, ovate leaves up to 2 ( rarely over 1.5 ) inches in length are glossy deep green.
Generally evergreen, it may become deciduous during very cold winters.
The flowers, up to 1.2 ( rarely 2 ) inches across, borne April and May are purple-blue with white centers.
Hardy zone 3 to 8 ( snowcover required in 3 ) preferring partial to deep shade and deep, moist well drained soil. Clipping plants back after flowering encourages dense growth. Blight may be a problem in plantings during hot humid weather, especially if growing in too much sun. This may be treated with a fungicide application. Frequent watering resulting in frequently wet foliage can make problems worse.
In ideal conditions the regular Vinca minor can become invasive and spread into the wild crowding out native plants. So far I have only encountered this problem with the more vigorous Vinca major and certainly not with any of the cultivars listed below. Due to the fact it does not need moving ( however I personally would mow every few years in early spring to get a fresher growth ) and does not need the spraying and frequent watering of lawn turfs, Vinca minor is safer environmentally than your typical lawn grass with the added attraction of being evergreen.
Forget trying to grow a lawn on a deep shaded slope, try Vinca!

* photos taken on April 13 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on April 21 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 1 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Mar 16 2012 in Columbia, MD








* photos taken on Mar 26 2012 in Columbia, MD



* photo taken on Apr 6 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 10 2013 of Vinca used to replace shaded out lawn

* photos taken on Aug 2 2013 in Bayfield, Ontario

* photos taken on Apr 16 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 16 2015 @ Oakland Manor, Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 18 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jul 27 2015 in Bayfield, ON

* photos taken on Apr 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 16 2016 in Bayfield, ON

* photos taken on Apr 8 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 11 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 20 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Alba'
Same except with white flowers.

* photo taken on May 15 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 22 2012 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on May 25 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 23 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Apr 12 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Alba Variegata'
Foliage is edged light yellow. Flowers are white.

'Atropurpurea'
Reaching up to 6 inches x 10 feet with green foliage and large, deep purple-red flowers

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Azurea Flore Pleno'
The double flowers are sky blue

'Blue & Gold'
Foliage is green with a bold golden-yellow border.
It is similar to 'Ralph Shugert' but even more vigorous.
Flowers are blue.

* photo taken on May 10 2014 in Columbia, MD


'Bowles Variety'
Reaches up to 4 inches in height with larger than average deep blue flowers up to 1.5 inches across.

* photo taken on Apr 16 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 21 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Emily Joy'
Reaches maximum size of 10 inches x 10 feet with abundant white flowers.

'Golden'
White flowers and very attractive foliage with golden-yellow variegation.

'Illumination'
Reaches up to 6 inches x 10 feet with stunning deep green foliage centered bright golden-yellow. The flowers are violet-blue.

* photos taken on June 25 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 9 2015 in Pikesville, MD

* photos taken on May 18 2015 in Pikesville, MD

* photo taken on Jul 12 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 8 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Miss Jekyll'
Forms a tight clump with narrow green foliage contrasting with abundant small white flowers.
Prefers sun more than most cultivars.

'Multiplex'
Double red-purple flowers

'Plena'
Double blue flowers

'Ralph Shugert'
Very vigorous growing with attractive glossy deep green oval foliage edged with bright silvery-white margins.
The flowers are white to bright blue borne late March through May.

* photos taken on Mar 24 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 4 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 12 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 20 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Sterling Silver'
Intense blue flowers contrasts with white-edged foliage.

* photos taken on Mar 26 2012 in Columbia, MD




'Valley Glow'
Glowing translucent bright green foliage is lightly golden variegated at first. The stems are yellow and the flowers are white.

'Variegata'
White margined foliage contrasts with violet blue flowers.

* photo taken on May 16 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2011 in Luzerne Co., PA

* photos taken on Aug 4 2012 in Bayfield, ON

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