Periwinkle has established itself on southern Vancouver Island and is now easy to find as far north as Campbell River. It came to Vancouver Island as a garden ornamental. But quickly escaped to the wild. It grows on various areas of the BC coast.
Bright blue or violet flowers, dark leaves, and the plants’ ability to grow in shade make it attractive in the garden. It is very pretty.
It was first introduced to North America in the 1700s from Eurasia and is now found all over southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to the Lower Mainland. It can still be purchased as a ground cover at many local garden supply stores. The plant has also been used medicinally and has been cultivated to create teas or pastes.
It has the ability to pioneer new areas with unintentional human help. Mostly from dumped garden waste. The loss of native tree and plant species on stream banks where periwinkle grows can lead to erosion, as well as the loss of the native biodiversity.