The Rosy Periwinkle (what a colorful name) forms a beautiful plant with the botanical version of a split personality. It also holds the distinction of being quite rare and endangered.
The plant understandably became quite popular as an ornamental plant. Despite its delicate appearance, however, it remains an extremely hardy species.
It grows endemically only on the island of Madagascar. There, it now faces the threat of loss of habitat due to the practice of slash and burn agriculture. Fortunately, however, this little beauty proves to be highly adaptable and successfully became naturalized in numerous other parts of the world.
Rosy Periwinkle Physical Description
The beautiful Rosy Periwinkle presents itself as either a herbaceous plant or an evergreen shrub (still can’t make up its mind?).
It grows either vertically or runs along the ground. It sometimes attains heights of as much as 3.1 ft (1 m).
Their delicate-seeming flowers appear either white with a red center or a dark pink.
The leaves typically display a glossy green in color, with a thick leathery texture.
The fruit of the Rosy Periwinkle develops as an elongated follicle, occurring in pairs. Like many plants in its family, the sap of this plant has the consistency of a thick, milky white latex.
Rosy Periwinkle Split Personality
The delicate beauty of the Rosy Periwinkle conceals a veritable cornucopia of chemical compounds, and here the split personality comes into play. Some of the chemicals in the Rosy Periwinkle have a high toxicity, and ingestion of even a small amount can be fatal.
However, many of the other chemical compounds within the Rosy Periwinkle prove invaluable in saving lives. This constitutes the personality duality.
Some of the diseases treated by a few of its compounds include a variety of cancers, diabetes, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and even malaria Now that is a valuable plant.