Growth Habit: Blue periwinkle has smooth, dark oval shaped leaves. It was once a popular garden plant, however its vigorous spreading habit and strong competition it provides against other plants leads to most people regarding it as a serious weed.
Type of plant: A scrambling, low growing perennial, with long trailing stems which may root at the nodes.
Flowers: Attractive bluish-purple, five petalled flowers.
Seeds: Fertile seed is rarely (if ever) produced as most infestations consist only of female plants.
Dispersal: Plants spread by the stems producing new roots at the nodes, from where new plants arise.
Distribution: Widespread garden escape on roadsides and waste places, cemeteries and abandoned house blocks. It is also a significant bushland invader in damp forests.
Status: Undeclared in Tasmania but considered an Environmental Weed.
- Can dominate the understorey and exclude native species.
- Often escapes gardens onto adjoining properties.
For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
- Cutting (all year). Repeated cutting and mowing before seeding will help control it.
- Herbicide (spring, summer and autumn). Glyphosate is registered for use in Tasmania. Repeated applications may be necessary.
- Grubbing. Suitable for small controllable areas. After removing as much of the plant as possible cover the area with newspaper and mulch heavily.
N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.