Common name: Periwinkle (pink or white)
Botanical name: Catharanthus roseus (previously known as Vinca rosea).
Other common names: Madagascar periwinkle, Vinca
General description: Small garden perennial growing up to 100cm.
Flowers: The flowers are about 3cm across with a slender tube that expands into 5 broad rounded petals. The most common form is bright pink with a slightly darker centre. There is also a white variety.
Leaves: The leaves are opposite, shiny and bright green with a white midrib, 4-6cm long and 2-3cm wide.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit is a cylindrical pod 2-3cm long which contains numerous small black seeds.
Other: Milky sap.
Symptoms: All parts of the plant are toxic but symptoms are unlikely from small ingestions. Symptoms may include fever, nausea, vomiting, nerve damage, headache and hallucinations.
Toxicity category: 2
Warning: Seek medical attention if exposure results in symptoms.