Vinca minor (Lesser Periwinkle) is a plant native to central and southern Europe, the Baltic States and also southwestern Asia, in Turkey.
This lovely, violet-purple flowering plant spreads along the ground and forms a dense ground cover. The flowers are produced from early spring to mid summer and with a few flowers, into the autumn. Its glossy dark green leaves are evergreen and it is an ornamental foliage even in winter.
Symbolism and superstition:- To the Germans, it is the "Flower of Immortality";
- In France, the Periwinkle is considered an emblem of friendship;
- The flower is called by the Italians Centocchio, or "Hundred Eyes" but it is also called "The Flower of Death" from the ancient custom of making it into garlands to place on the biers of dead children.
Another old name of the Periwinkle, used in magic was "Sorcerer's Violet" ("Violette des sorciers" - the French name). It was a favorite flower for making charms and love-philtres.
These superstitions about the Periwinkle are of great age and are repeated by all the old writers (Botanical.com).
Medicinal uses:The dried leaves, aerial parts, and in some cases the entire plant of Vinca, are used to enhance blood circulation, including that of the brain, enhance metabolism in the brain, and to treat cardiovascular disorders.
An ointment prepared from the bruised leaves with lard has been largely used in domestic medicine and is reputed to be both soothing and healing in all inflammatory ailments of the skin and an excellent remedy for bleeding piles.
There are many other Vinca species of like the closely related Vinca major, which is similar but larger in all parts and numerous cultivars, with different flower colors and variegated foliage.