Viola marginata
periwinkle; myrtle

Vinca minor

Vinca minor
Vinca minor
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown Line Drawing
Botanical name: Viola marginata
Common name: periwinkle; myrtle
Group: dicot
Family: Apocynaceae  
Growth type: forb/herb, vine
Duration: perennial
Origin: introduced from Europe
Plant height: 6" tall; forms an evergreen mat
Foliage: leaves opposite, evergreen, elliptic, and entire, being lustrous dark green above
Flower: blue-purple, five petals, 3/4 - 1" across
Flowering time: late March through April; sporadically throughout the summer
Habitat: woods, shady roadsides
Range in New Jersey: statewide
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. V. minor is found in wild areas generally denotes a former homestead site. Spreads via creeping stems.
Often used as groundcover in shady areas.