Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don

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Catharanthus roseus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umvumvumvu Gorge

Catharanthus roseus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Umvumvumvu Gorge

Catharanthus roseus

Photo: Bart Wursten
By the lodges, Lake Kyle Recreational Park

Catharanthus roseus

Photo: Bart Wursten
By the lodges, Lake Kyle Recreational Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Lochnera rosea (L.) Rchb. ex Endl.
Vinca rosea L.
Common names: Madagascar periwinkle (English) Rosy periwinkle (English)
Status: Introduced
Erect or decumbent suffrutex, to 1 m, usually with white latex. Stems green, often suffused with purple or red. Leaves decussate, petiolate; lamina variable, elliptic, obovate or narrowly obovate; apex mucronate. Flowers 4-5 cm, showy, white or pink, with a purple, red, pale yellow or white centre. Follicle 1.2-3.8 × 0.2-0.3 cm, dehiscent on the adaxial side. Seeds 1-2 mm, numerous, grooved on one side.
Derivation of specific name: roseus: rose, rosy
Habitat: Commonly cultivated in gardens and in the Communal Lands and becoming naturalised in disturbed places, such as on roadsides, and in stream beds.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:All year
Worldwide distribution: Native to Madagascar
Malawi distribution: N,S
Growth form(s): Perennial, shrub under 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Aphis nerii (Food plant)
Daphnis nerii (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 98 - 99. (Includes a picture).

Bromilow, C. (2010). Problem Plants and Alien Weeds of South Africa Briza Publications, South Africa Pages 315 - 316. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 12.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 145.

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Page 45. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 251. (Includes a picture).

Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. & Kupicha, F.K. et al. (1985). Apocynaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(2) Pages 454 - 456. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 18.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 24.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 416 - 417. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 25.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 23.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 197.

Other sources of information about Catharanthus roseus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Caprivi: Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Mozambique: Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Zambia: Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Catharanthus roseus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Catharanthus roseus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Catharanthus roseus
African Plant Database: Catharanthus roseus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Catharanthus roseus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Catharanthus roseus
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Catharanthus roseus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Catharanthus roseus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Catharanthus roseus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Catharanthus roseus
iNaturalist: Catharanthus roseus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Catharanthus roseus
JSTOR Plant Science: Catharanthus roseus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Catharanthus roseus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Catharanthus roseus
Plants of the World Online: Catharanthus roseus
Tropicos: Catharanthus roseus
Wikipedia: Catharanthus roseus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Catharanthus roseus., retrieved 23 March 2023

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