Lesser Periwinkle - Vinca minor


A creeping plant that is a garden escape. The leaves are evergreen, opposite and simple, without hairy margins. The flowers are solitary coming from the axils of the leaves. The corolla has 5 spreading lobes. These lobes are asymmetrical, giving the appearance of fan blades. The flower colour is purple-blue or occasionally white.

Similar Species

Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major, is similar but larger and with more upright growth. They can be easily separated by examining the edges of the leaves: Vinca major have hairy edges whilst Vinca minor are hairless.

Identification difficulty

Hedgerows, woodland and waste places. Often near gardens where it will have escaped from cultivation.

When to see it

March to May.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread and fairly frequent in Britain, usually as a garden escape.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland, and nearly always as a garden escape. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 26 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map