This lovely tender perennial can be easily-grown as an annual, flowering prolifically in hot, dry climates and relatively infertile soils. The glossy green leaves provide a background for attractive, five-petaled flowers, which range from pink, red, purple to white and bi-colored flowers. It is valued for its hardiness in dry and nutritionally deficient conditions,and is popular in subtropical gardens where temperatures rarely fall below 5 °C and as a warm-season bedding plant in temperate gardens. It is noted for its long flowering period, throughout the year in tropical conditions, and from spring to late autumn, in warm temperate climates. The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant. And in Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) the extracts of its roots and shoots, though poisonous, are used against several diseases. This conflict between historical indigenous use, and recent patents on C.roseus-derived drugs by western pharmaceutical companies, without compensation, has led to accusations of biopiracy.
For best results, sow seeds in good light at any time onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. We recommend germinating at 15 to 20 degrees C. Seeds should ideally germinate in between 2 and 6 weeks although they make take considerably longer. Pot on seedlings before finally planting out into a container or a well-drained spot.
Common name:Catharanthus roseus, Ammocallis rosea, Lochnera rosea, Madagascar rosy periwinkle, Cape periwinkle, Old Maid
Classification:Half hardy perennial
Seeds / gram:180 (Approx)