Photographed by Bette Jackson
If you are have difficulty playing the audio click here
Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Periwinkle is a name given to three different but related evergreen flowering plants that are often used as ground covers in landscaping. You may also know them as ‘vinca’. Periwinkles are in the same family as the very poisonous oleander. And, like oleander, periwinkles produce potent chemicals that can affect heart rate, blood pressure, and the central nervous system of humans and other animals. Periwinkles are not as dangerous as oleander, but they are not plants that should be used where a small child might eat a leaf or a flower. In small doses, the large periwinkle of England and Europe has been used in folk medicine for centuries. Some periwinkles have escaped cultivation and become invasive weeds, especially along roadsides, although they're not high on the list of problem plants. Periwinkles are useful in landscaping and pretty to look at when under control, but potentially bad medicine for those who might eat them, or for natural environments if out of control.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.