Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is a species of
Catharanthus native and endemic to Madagascar. Synonyms include Vinca
rosea (the basionym), Ammocallis rosea, and Lochnera rosea; other
English names occasionally used include Cape Periwinkle, Rose
Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle, and "Old-maid". In the wild, it
is an endangered plant; the main cause of decline is habitat
destruction by slash and burn agriculture. It is also however widely
cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the
world. It is an evergreen subshrub or herbaceous plant growing to 1 m
tall. The leaves are oval to oblong, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–3.5 cm broad,
glossy green, hairless, with a pale midrib and a short petiole 1–1.8
cm long; they are arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are white to
dark pink with a darker red centre, with a basal tube 2.5-3 cm long
and a corolla 2–5 cm diameter with five petal-like lobes. The fruit is
a pair of follicles 2–4 cm long and 3 mm broad.
This image was featured in "Photography Bay's": Reader
Photos Roundup: February 12, 2012
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