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Myrtle - Lesser Periwinkle flower and plant-macro photo

Myrtle, also known as Lesser Periwinkle or Vinca Minor is in bloom in many gardens.
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.
Myrtle-Lesser Periwinkle flower macro

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 (
Myrtle-Lesser Periwinkle plant

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.


Anonymous said...

sweet little flowers...i've found some...i just love all your info...

Anonymous said...

These two images are superb. The second one is truly eye catching with the rich luster of the leaves. You might be interested in John Shaw's nature photography. I recall a similar shot in one of his books.

Kathy said...

I have some of these. I used to have a lot of these, but they were taking over, so I pulled them up. They are very prolific, grow well in a hot climate, and are very sweet little flowers. I did not know they have a subname of Myrtle, however. We know them here in Arizona as trailing vinca, trailing periwinkle, or vinca minor. When I was guest host on Today's Flowers a few months back one of my featured photos was of this flower after a rain.

Petit Eyekiss said...

Fantastic! Yesterday we talked about just this little flower. We have alot of it at our summerhouse. So smallbut so important.
In Sweden we called it "Vinter gröna"
Beautiful photo!

Kilauea Poetry said...

I agree..these are wonderful! I didn't realize just how valuable this plant was. I had this plant once..its really hardy and much stronger than the Impatience plant.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous macros. I have some Vinca growing in my backyard.

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