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Federal Noxious Weed
TDA Noxious Weed
TPWD Prohibited Exotic Species
Invasive Plant Atlas of the US

NOTE: means species is on that list.

Vinca major


Bigleaf periwinkle

Synonym(s): Vinca major var. variegata
Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Subshrub


Photographer: Chris Evans
Source: The University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Description

Evergreen to semievergreen vines, somewhat woody, trailing or scrambling to 3 feet (1 m) long and upright to 1 foot (30 cm). Violet pinwheel-shaped flowers.

Ecological Threat: V. major forms dense stands that exclude other herbs and creates a problem in areas where it competes with native herbs. This species is a particular threat to the understory of riverine vegetation as it will spread from plant fragments carried by high flows. V. major forms dense mats which smother all native groundcover vegetation and prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs. This can have important long term consequences on streambanks, where the eventual loss of native tree and shrub cover could lead to erosion.

Biology & Spread: Floating vegetation/debris: High flood waters carry plant fragments downstream
For ornamental purposes: V. major is commonly sold as an ornamental.
Landscape/fauna "improvement": V. major is planted as an ornamental ground cover.
Other: V. major is introduced to new locations as a medicinal herb.
Garden escape/garden waste: The most common means of spread is by vegetative material being dumped in garden refuse.
On animals (local): Seed dispersal by wind has been recorded in warmer climates.

History: Introduced from Europe in 1700s. Ornamental ground cover, commonly sold and planted by gardeners

U.S. Habitat: Found around old homesite plantings and scattered in open to dense canopied forests. Form mats and extensive infestations even under forest canopies by vines rooting at nodes, with viability of seeds yet to be reported.

Distribution

U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.

Native Origin: Europe & W. Asia (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); NatureServe Explorer

U.S. Present: AL, AR, AZ, CA, GA, ID, IL, KY, LA, MA, MD, MS, NC, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA

Distribution:

Mapping

Invaders of Texas Map: Vinca major
EDDMapS: Vinca major
USDA Plants Texas County Map: Vinca major

Invaders of Texas Observations

List All Observations of Vinca major reported by Citizen Scientists

Resembles/Alternatives

Other alternatives include crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), wild ginger (Asarum canadense), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), evergreen wood fern (Dryopteris marginalis or intermedia), partridgeberry (Mitchella repens), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia).

Management


Physical: Manual removal by raising the runners with a rake, mowing them down close to the ground, or digging them out by hand.

Chemical: Removal of stolons [the trailing branch that produces new plants from buds; a runner] by hand and spot spraying active growth with 0.25% triclopyr in water or 1% glyphosate in water are effective control measures currently used. The most effective chemical controls are paraquat and Goal, which contain the active ingredient oxyflurfen. Other chemicals that have been proven effective are 2,4-D, 2,3,6-TBA, and Fenuron.

USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.

Text References

National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG). 2008. Vinca major (herb). Accessed 25 November 2008: http://www.invasivespecies.net/database/species/ecology.asp?si=487&fr=1&sts=sss.

Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp (USDA SRS).

Online Resources

Search Online

Google Search: Vinca major
Google Images: Vinca major
NatureServe Explorer: Vinca major
USDA Plants: Vinca major
Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States: Vinca major
Bugwood Network Images: Vinca major

Last Updated: 2008-11-25 by HTG
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