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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Rauvolfioideae
Tribus: Vinceae
Subtribus: Vincinae
Genus: Vinca
Species: V. difformis – V. erecta – V. herbacea – V. major – V. minor – V. soneri

Vinca L., Sp. Pl. 1: 209. (1753)

Type species: Vinca minor L., Sp. Pl. 1: 209 (1753)


Pervinca Mill., Gard. Dict. Abr., ed. 4, (1754)

Native distribution areas:

Middle Europe
Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland.
Southwestern Europe
Baleares, Corse, France, Portugal, Sardegna, Spain.
Southeastern Europe
Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, Kriti, Romania, Sicilia, Turkey-in-Europe, Yugoslavia.
Eastern Europe
Belarus, Krym, Central European Russia, South European Russia, Ukraine.
Northern Africa
Algeria, Morocco.
Middle Asia
Kirgizstan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan.
North Caucasus, Transcaucasus.
Western Asia
Afghanistan, East Aegean Islands, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon-Syria, Palestine, Turkey.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum 1: 209.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2017. Vinca in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2017 Oct. 6. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2017. Vinca. Published online. Accessed: Oct. 6 2017.

Vernacular names
العربية: عناقية
azərbaycanca: Qıfotu
беларуская: Барвенак
brezhoneg: Rouanez
kaszëbsczi: Bôrwik
čeština: Barvínek
dansk: Singrøn
Deutsch: Immergrün
English: Periwinkle
Esperanto: Vinko
español: Vinca
eesti: Igihali
فارسی: پروانش
suomi: Talviot
français: Pervenche
Gaelg: Blaa ny feoghaig
עברית: וינקה
magyar: Meténg
հայերեն: Կուսածաղիկ
ქართული: გველის სურო
қазақша: Қабыршөп
lombard: Vinca
lietuvių: Žiemė
മലയാളം: വിൻക
Nederlands: Maagdenpalm
polski: Barwinek
русский: Барвинок
sicilianu: Pruvinca
slovenčina: Zimozeleň
svenska: Vintergrönesläktet
Türkçe: Cezayir menekşesi
українська: Барвінок
Tiếng Việt: Chi Dừa cạn châu Âu
walon: Vintche
中文: 蔓长春花属

Vinca (/ˈvɪŋkə/;[2] Latin: vincire "to bind, fetter") is a genus of flowering plants in the family Apocynaceae, native to Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia.[3][4][5][6] The English name periwinkle is shared with the related genus Catharanthus (and also with the common seashore mollusc, Littorina littorea).
Vinca difformis in habitat, Cáceres, Spain

Vinca plants are subshrubs or herbaceous, and have slender trailing stems 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) long but not growing more than 20–70 cm (8–27.5 in) above ground; the stems frequently take root where they touch the ground, enabling the plant to spread widely. The leaves are opposite, simple broad lanceolate to ovate, 1–9 cm (0.5–3.5 in) long and 0.5–6 cm (0.20–2.36 in) broad; they are evergreen in four species, but deciduous in the herbaceous V. herbacea, which dies back to the root system in winter.[7][8]

The flowers, produced through most of the growing season, are salverform (like those of Phlox), simple, 2.5–7 cm (0.98–2.76 in) broad, with five usually violet (occasionally white) petals joined together at the base to form a tube. The fruit consists of a pair of divergent follicles; the dry fruit dehisces along one rupture site to release seeds.[7][8]

Two of the species, Vinca major and Vinca minor, are extensively cultivated as a flowering evergreen ornamental plant. Because the plants are low and spread quickly, they are often used as groundcover in garden landscapes and container gardens. They are also traditionally used in older cemeteries as an evergreen maintenance-free ground cover.[9] Many cultivars are available, with different plant, leaf, and flower colors, sizes, and habits.
Invasive plant species

Although attractive, both Vinca major and Vinca minor may be invasive in some regions where they are introduced species because the rapid spreading chokes out native plant species and alters habitats. Areas affected include parts of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, especially coastal California.[10][11]
Vinca plants spreading along a border

Medicinal use

The vinca alkaloids include at least 86 alkaloids extracted from plants in the genus Vinca.[12][13][14] The chemotherapy agent vincristine is extracted from a closely related species, Catharanthus roseus,[15][16][17] and is used to treat some leukemias,[18] lymphomas,[19] and childhood cancers,[20] as well as several other types of cancer and some non-cancerous conditions. Vinblastine is a chemical analogue of vincristine[13][16][21] and is also used to treat various forms of cancer.[22] Dimeric alkaloids such as vincristine and vinblastine are produced by the coupling the smaller indole alkaloids vindoline and catharanthine.[13][23] In addition, the nootropic agent vincamine is derived from Vinca minor. Vinorelbine, a newer semi-synthetic chemotherapeutic agent, is used in the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer[16][24] and is prepared either from the natural products leurosine[25][26] or catharanthine and vindoline,[16][27] in both cases by first preparing anhydrovinblastine.[15][16][27]


Accepted species:[1]

Vinca difformis Pourr. – Azores, western and central Mediterranean
Vinca erecta Regel & Schmalh. – Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Vinca herbacea Waldst. & Kit. – central, eastern and southeastern Europe; Middle East
Vinca major L. – southern Europe, Turkey, Syria, Caucasus; introduced to and established in New Zealand, California, British Isles, central Europe, Ukraine, North Africa, south China, Canary Islands, Madeira, North America,[28] Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru,[29] Costa Rica, Guatemala
Vinca minor L. – central and southeastern Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus; introduced to and established in British Isles, Scandinavia, Portugal, Turkey, south China, North America,[30] New Zealand
Vinca soneri Koyuncu – Turkey
Vinca ispartensis Koyuncu & Ekşi – Turkey[31]


"World Checklist of Selected Plant Families". Retrieved May 17, 2014.
Stearn, W. T. (1983). Botanical Latin ed. 3. David & Charles ISBN 0-7153-8548-8.
Flora Europaea: Vinca
EuroMed Plantbase Project: Vinca
Flora of Pakistan: Vinca
Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Vinca included photos plus European distribution maps
Blamey, M., & Grey-Wilson, C. (1989). Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. Hodder & Stoughton.
Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 4: 664-665. Macmillan.
"Periwinkle". Retrieved 16 November 2012.
Global Compendium of Weeds: Vinca major
Global Compendium of Weeds: Vinca minor
Hesse, Manfred (2002). Alkaloids: Nature's Curse or Blessing?. Wiley-VCH. p. 7. ISBN 978-3-906390-24-6.
van Der Heijden, Robert; Jacobs, Denise I.; Snoeijer, Wim; Hallard, Didier; Verpoorte, Robert (2004). "The Catharanthus alkaloids: Pharmacognosy and biotechnology". Current Medicinal Chemistry. 11 (5): 607–628. doi:10.2174/0929867043455846. PMID 15032608.
Cooper, Raymond; Deakin, Jeffrey John (2016). "Africa's gift to the world". Botanical Miracles: Chemistry of Plants That Changed the World. CRC Press. pp. 46–51. ISBN 9781498704304.
Gansäuer, Andreas; Justicia, José; Fan, Chun-An; Worgull, Dennis; Piestert, Frederik (2007). "Reductive C—C bond formation after epoxide opening via electron transfer". In Krische, Michael J. (ed.). Metal Catalyzed Reductive C—C Bond Formation: A Departure from Preformed Organometallic Reagents. Topics in Current Chemistry. 279. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 25–52. doi:10.1007/128_2007_130. ISBN 9783540728795.
Keglevich, Péter; Hazai, Laszlo; Kalaus, György; Szántay, Csaba (2012). "Modifications on the basic skeletons of vinblastine and vincristine". Molecules. 17 (5): 5893–5914. doi:10.3390/molecules17055893. PMC 6268133. PMID 22609781.
Raviña, Enrique (2011). "Vinca alkaloids". The evolution of drug discovery: From traditional medicines to modern drugs. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 157–159. ISBN 9783527326693.
"Chemotherapy for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia". American Cancer Society. February 18, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia". American Cancer Society. February 22, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Childhood Leukemia". American Cancer Society. February 3, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma". American Cancer Society. March 29, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma". American Cancer Society. May 31, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Neuroblastoma". American Cancer Society. January 22, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors in Children". American Cancer Society. January 21, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
Sears, Justin E.; Boger, Dale L. (2015). "Total Synthesis of Vinblastine, Related Natural Products, and Key Analogues and Development of Inspired Methodology Suitable for the Systematic Study of Their Structure-Function Properties". Accounts of Chemical Research. 48 (3): 653–662. doi:10.1021/ar500400w. PMC 4363169. PMID 25586069.
"Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer". American Cancer Society. May 16, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma". American Cancer Society. March 29, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
"Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer". American Cancer Society. February 12, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
Hirata, K.; Miyamoto, K.; Miura, Y. (1994). "Catharanthus roseus L. (Periwinkle): Production of Vindoline and Catharanthine in Multiple Shoot Cultures". In Bajaj, Y. P. S. (ed.). Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry 26. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. VI. Springer-Verlag. pp. 46–55. ISBN 9783540563914.
Faller, Bryan A.; Pandi, Trailokya N. (2011). "Safety and efficacy of vinorelbine in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer". Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology. 5: 131–144. doi:10.4137/CMO.S5074. PMC 3117629. PMID 21695100.
Morcillo, Sara P.; Miguel, Delia; Campaña, Araceli G.; Cienfuegos, Luis Álvarez de; Justicia, José; Cuerva, Juan M. (2014). "Recent applications of Cp2TiCl in natural product synthesis". Organic Chemistry Frontiers. 1 (1): 15–33. doi:10.1039/c3qo00024a.
Hardouin, Christophe; Doris, Eric; Rousseau, Bernard; Mioskowski, Charles (2002). "Concise synthesis of anhydrovinblastine from leurosine". Organic Letters. 4 (7): 1151–1153. doi:10.1021/ol025560c. PMID 11922805.
Ngo, Quoc Anh; Roussi, Fanny; Cormier, Anthony; Thoret, Sylviane; Knossow, Marcel; Guénard, Daniel; Guéritte, Françoise (2009). "Synthesis and biological evaluation of Vinca alkaloids and phomopsin hybrids". Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 52 (1): 134–142. doi:10.1021/jm801064y. PMID 19072542.
"Plants Profile for Vinca major (bigleaf periwinkle)". Retrieved 2018-11-12.
"Neotropical Plant Portal Research Checklist: Peru". Retrieved 2018-11-12.
"Plants Profile for Vinca minor (common periwinkle)". Retrieved 2018-11-12.
"Vinca ispartensis Koyuncu & Eksi". Plants of the World Online. Kew Science. Retrieved 2021-01-15.

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