Old Maid

1 entry found.
Old Maid
Common Name: Periwinkle, Vinca, Rose Periwinkle, Old Maid, Cayenne Jasmine
Botanical Name: Catharanthus roseus (ka-tha-RAN-thus RO-see-us)
Decorative Life: From 4-5 plus weeks depending on environment.
Harvest Instructions: Plugs can be stored for 5 weeks in the dark (6 weeks in light) at 50F and subsequently grown into very acceptable plants and/or flowers.
Family Roots:
  • Member of the Apocynaceae (dogbane family).
  • Native to Madagascar and India.
  • Related species include vinca, oleander, golden-trumpet.
  • Classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
  • Flowers flat with five petals, to 1.5 inches wide, solitary at stem ends.
  • Sometimes confused with its old genus name of Vinca.
  • Flowers are not fragrant.
Availability: Year-round.
Flower Color: Red, pink, bicolors, white.
  • From the Greek "katharos" (pure, without blemish) and "anthos" (flower).
  • The specific epithet name "roseus" means rose, in reference to its flower color.
  • This species contains alkaloids used to retard leukemia, a property discovered when it was being tested as a drug for diabetes.
  • Will generally do well in light levels at least bright enough to read a newspaper in comfort but more light would be better. Some favorite cultivars and their respective flower colors include 'Mediterranean Apricot Breadeye' (rose eye) and 'Pacifica Red'.
Recent Findings: In an earlier (1978) study, Harbaugh et al. showed that this species could be sealed in a polyethylene package and still be marketable when held at room temperature after 18 days.