In the UK, you can buy Vinca Minor and Vinca Major at garden centres, but it doesn’t even get a listing in my Mediterranean Garden Plants book. I’m sure Pablo regards it as a weed and would be amazed that people actually pay for it.
The wild version is a sprawling monster which grows metres wide, not like the smaller horticultural periwinkles which, as their name suggests, are more delicate. The flowers here are blue or white and it often tumbles down steep banks, streaming over dead winter stalks and stems in that helpful way Nature has of tidying up after itself. This is a characteristic that the Spanish take to heart, relying on springtime weeds to cover rough ground.
The name Vinca comes from the Latin, ‘vincere’ which means ‘to bind or fetter’. How appropriate.
5 to remember
una pizca – a sprinkle
una malahierba – a weed
un vivero – a garden centre
mediterráneo/a – Mediterranean
un monstruo – a monster