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Periwinkle is a scrambling groundcover plant that resembles a vine. The trailing stems can grow more than 2m long and take root where they come in contact with the soil. Its leaves are glossy, 4-10cm long, 3-7cm wide and arranged in opposite pairs on the stem. It produces blue-violet flowers that have 5 petals and are 4-5cm in diameter.
Periwinkle is a widespread escape from cultivation. It grows best in moist, shady places such as waste places, riverbanks, roadsides, forest margins, and shrublands.
This species is fast-growing, tolerant of shade, and moderately tolerant of dry or wet conditions. Its creeping, layering habit allows it to form dense, long-lived stands. It can regrow after being damaged or grazed. Sussequently, it can dominate bare areas and outcompete native ground-cover species.
Periwinkle does not usually produce seeds but can regrow from fragments of roots and stems.