Bigleaf Periwinkle Vinca major LinaneusNon-native  -  Invasive  Synonyms: Big-leaved Periwinkle.

Status:

Bigleaf Periwinkle is an invasive ground cover that has escaped cultivation and is spreading in appropriate habitats throughout Maryland. Even though the Maryland Biodiversity Project has not recorded Bigleaf Periwinkle west of the Piedmont, this troublesome plant should be searched for in suitable habitats in the western Maryland. Bigleaf Periwinkle is native to the Mediterranean region and west to the Caucasus of Asia Minor. This plant was introduced to the United States through the cultivation. During the mid 1900s it was used as a ground stabilization plant for steep hillsides. Bigleaf Periwinkle is not as common as the closely related Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor). Both periwinkle species seem to thrive in partially shaded woods and forest edge environments.

Description:

With a little practice it is easy to separate the two species of Vinca that have become established in Maryland. First off everything about Bigleaf Periwinkle, from the leaves to the flowers, are larger than the foliage and blooms of Common Periwinkle. The leaves of the two species are noticeably different not just in size but also in shape. The leaves of Bigleaf Periwinkle are broadest towards the base of the leaf. The leaves often have a cordate base but this can vary. The leaves of Common Periwinkle are more lanceolate in structure and are broadest towards the middle of the leaf and they often have a more cuneate base. The flowers of Bigleaf Periwinkle are 3 cm to 5 cm across while the flowers of Common Periwinkle are 2 cm to 3 cm across. The flower pedicels of Bigleaf Periwinkle are longer than Common Periwinkle: 3 cm to 3.5 cm for Bigleaf Periwinkle and 1 cm to 1.5 cm for Common Periwinkle (Weakley, 2015).

There are 15 records in the project database.

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Bigleaf Periwinkle blooming in Talbot Co., Maryland (4/23/2014). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle blooming in Worcester Co., Maryland (3/31/2018). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle in Worcester Co., Maryland (3/31/2018). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle in a bottomland woodland habitat in Worcester Co., Maryland (1/20/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (12/17/2017). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle in Prince George's Co., Maryland (3/31/2017). Photo by Tom Ostrowski. (MBP list)

Bigleaf Periwinkle in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (4/29/2017). Photo by Tyler Bell. (MBP list)


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