Vinca major


major: greater

Common Name(s)




Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


A widespread escape from cultivation naturalised is all districts. Waste places, particularly in the shade of trees by riverbanks, roadsides, cemeteries and around gardens.


Stems glabrous, long and partly trailing or running and rooting at nodes, with terminal part often ascending, forming dense mats often covering many square metres. Petiole 7~20mm long; margins hirsute. Lamina 4~10 x 2.5~7cm, ovate, usually dark glossy green above, rarely variegated white and green; midrib hairy above; margins ciliate; base mostly rounded or subcordate, sometimes truncate or broad-cuneate; apex obtuse or acute, pedicels 2.5~4cm long, slender. Calyx .9~1.7cm long; lobes linear-subulate, ciliate, glandular towards base, Corolla tube approx. 1.5cm long; limb 3.5~5cm diam., mauvish-blue; lobes obliquely obovate; apex truncate or obtuse. Anthers slightly wider than long. Follicles 3.5~5cm long, the apical part very narrow and pointed, constricted between seeds. Seeds 7~8mm lon, oblong, strongly corrugated; margins inrolled. (Webb et. al., 1988) The plant has endless trailing and twining stems (Hilgendorf 1926), and glossy green leaves and beautiful pale blue salver-shaped flowers 2 -3 cm across (Hilgendorf 1926). A plant that forms a dense mat of long running, hairless stems with roots at the nodes (Department of Conservation 1996). The opposite leaves are oval, usually around 4 cm long, usually a dark glossy green and rarely variegated white and green (Department of Conservation 1996). The flowers are tubular and flat-lobed at the mouth to 5cm in diameter and are a mauvish blue (Department of Conservation 1996).


January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Flower Colours

Violet / Purple

Year Naturalised



E. & C. Mediterranean

Reason for Introduction


Life Cycle and Dispersal

Perennial. Reproduces by seed and vegetatively.Dispersed from dumping of garden waste, road machinery and soil disturbances along rivers. Stems sometimes root at tips.


A plant that is tolerant of shade, and moderately tolerant of dry or wet conditions.

This page last updated on 3 Sep 2013