“Invasive” Ground Covers and the Case for Allowing Periwinkle  by  Susan Harris

I have a beef with the inclusion of Periwinkle (Vinca minor) on my coop’s list of banned plants – banned because they’re considered invasive (despite NOT being listed on the Maryland Invasive Plant list). I’ve grown it in two suburbs of DC and in neither location (or the gardens of my neighbors) has it grown vigorously. If anything, my complaint, echoed by other area gardeners, is that it’s not vigorous enough. So let’s find out where it’s invasive and under what conditions, shall we? The Invasive Plant Atlas says it’s “invading natural areas throughout the Eastern U.S. It inhabits open to shady sites including forests and often escapes from old homesites.” The State of Indiana says: “Once established, Vinca minor forms a dense carpet to the exclusion of other plants. This creates a problem where it is competing with native flora.” Moving west, a California source says it “tends to become invasive in hot Mediterranean climates.” Indeed I finally found a spot where Periwinkle IS c..
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