Periwinkle Flower Meaning, Symbolism and Use of Each Color

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Periwinkle is a small flowering plant with flowers just as delightful as its name! Its delicate flowers and small petals are sure to bring the brightest out of a dull day. The periwinkle flowers symbolize something quite intriguing.

Aside from its symbolic meaning, periwinkles have different meanings each with an important message. The small periwinkle comes in different colors and each color meaning behind this particular flower color is quite historic. A color red periwinkle means love while a color blue one represents a new friendship. Meanwhile, white or pink periwinkles symbolizes fond memories or sweet memories and purple ones represent loyalty. 

History of Periwinkle Flowers

The Periwinkle belongs to the Vinca genus and originates from the Apocynaceae family or dogbane family. Vinca is a Latin word for bind indicating the inclusive nature of the plant. The plants belonging to this genus has a star shape flower with a white center or red center and five small petals. Oftentimes, these can also be a tubular center depending on variety. The name comes from a rich European history for over thousands of years. 

The common name Periwinkle dates back to the 12th century from old and middle English definitions. These evergreen shrubs were first cultivated during the middle age in ancient Europe, China, and India but are predominantly native to Asia Minor, Middle East, and Northwest Africa.

The periwinkles are small evergreen herbaceous perennials with canny-colored, pinwheel shaped flowers and luscious dark green foliage. These flowering plants thrive best in partial shade conditions with well drained, fertile soil and are best planted during a cloudy day with enough sunshine. Any areas with lots of light can be its natural habitats!

There are several other varieties of the periwinkle with the most popular one known as the Madagascar Periwinkle Vinca rosea – or the rose periwinkle. Other types of periwinkles include the Vinca minor (which is known by many names such as the creeping myrtle, lesser periwinkle, dwarf periwinkle, or common periwinkle) and the Vinca major (the greater periwinkle).

Aside from its history and varieties, there are some cool periwinkle flower facts that you need to know about. The evergreen plant floral name was derived from the Russian word pervi meaning first since this blossom is known as the first bloom during Spring. 

Other interesting facts about this flower involve its name and story through time. The name periwinkle was actually the outcome from the decision of early English botanists because it resembled shellfish. For the French, the Periwinkle name comes from the word “poule de roche” which means “rock dove”.

Red periwinkle

Symbolism of Periwinkle Blossoms

The flower symbolism of the periwinkle is rooted on its meaningful botanical characteristics such as its small nature and delicate petals. With its rich history, it’s no doubt these flowers have such great symbolic value. 

The Vinca is a sacred herb associated with Venus, goddess of love and beauty. It is a believed tradition that when married couples scatter the petals, good fortune is afoot. Oddly enough, couples also consuming its leaves embody the promise of a lifetime with each other filled with everlasting love. 

Aside from a long lasting love, Italians have their own symbolic meaning for the flower. During ancient times of the world, these flowers were ornamented in garlands to symbolize dead children or loved ones. Christians also have similar beliefs of this flower and adorn it as emblems of recollection put on gravestones and funeral wreaths of a loved one.

These flowers may also sometimes symbolize feeling nostalgic. It can represent new beginnings, a blossoming friendship, and even true love depending on the feeling of the moment. This is the very reason why periwinkles are the national flower of Georgia and is the birth flower of February. 

pink periwinkle

Meaning of Periwinkle Florets

The past fondly has a strong connection with the meaning of the Periwinkle. These meanings differ for each color and cultural history. Its etymological meaning also varies and is open to different interpretations and understanding. In Great Britain during the Roman era, it was referred to as the joy of the ground for its trailing growth habit. 

In fact, the flora is acquainted with banishing negative energy and also provides mental clarity and protection in the surrounding. This only goes to show that Vincas are a great addition to your home garden and means sharing these with your friends is like sending well wishes!

Other meanings associated with Vinca include a strong emotions. It also can sometimes represent hope and represent tranquility. Be it a darker shade or lighter shades of periwinkles, the meaning behind each color is just as beautiful. Here are just some flower colors and the meaning behind it. 

What Does a White Periwinkle Bloom Mean?

A white Periwinkle flower represents the pleasure and enjoyment of one’s fond memories.

What Does a Blue Periwinkle Flower Symbolize?

The blue color represents all things calm and beautiful. This is why blue Periwinkles symbolize the start of an early relationships or new friendships.

What Does a Pink Periwinkle Flower Represent?

Periwinkles with pink flowers embody sweet memoirs and unerring devotion. Pink periwinkles symbolize the youth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his precious memories. 

What Does a Red Periwinkle Floret Signify?

A deep red Vincas signifies fidelity and love.

What Does a Purple Periwinkle Flower Mean?

Vincas of purple shades often indicate one’s early attachment and loyalty. Some often mistake this flower as purple pink but nonetheless its meaning remains the same.

What is the Cultural Significance of Periwinkle Flowers?

Because of its rich history, periwinkle flowers have such a rich cultural significance as well. For the French, the periwinkle was taken from the French word Violette des sorciers which means the Sorcerer’s violet. It was once used to make charms and cast spells that exorcism evil spirits. 

The French also regarded this flower as an emblem of friendship because of the allusion of Rousseau’s remembrance of his dear friend Madame de Warens. He regarded the periwinkle with such a sweet symbolic value. 

During the Victorian era, Claude Monet’s work depicted the periwinkle in an artistic movement. His work Water Lilies, the periwinkle stood out in natural scenes which were painted during the impressionist period.

What is the Biblical Significance of the Periwinkle?

French folks have a special biblical significance for the periwinkle and was a religious symbol for the Virgin Mary in the middle ages. The French often denoted the Vinca as the flower of the Virgin Mary for its readiness and reticence. 

Specifically the blue Periwinkle, this flower symbolizes Virgin Mary’s draped blue clothing. It was often called the virgin flower. It is also adorned as a Christian art decoration on wreaths and garlands during Easter.

What Do Periwinkle Tattoos Symbolize?

The periwinkle is a great plant to have as a tattoo design. A periwinkle flower tattoo is a dainty design to add to a body art collection. People who choose have a periwinkle tattoo design often fancy the embodiment of friendship and love. 

So if you want a floral tattoo that depicts your amazing relations, try getting a periwinkle flower tattoo! It will mean that you remain true to your friend and the promises you keep. 

What Does the Periwinkle Baby Name Mean? 

A lot of flowers are used to name babies in the present day. The Periwinkle is no stranger to this trend! Babies named after the dinky floras are representations of hope and joy for his or her parents. 

Uses of Periwinkle Flowers

Aside from being used as an ornamental decorative garden plant, it is also a treasured gem with medicinal purposes. Since it spreads quickly these flowers will make for an excellent bedding plant or ground covers.

In fact this diminutive bloom can hide and grow under a leaf litter and be seen as a low growing green layer! It takes a very long time for these flowers to bloom but they say that great things take time – and growing this flower is a good choice and the perfect way to represent good memories.

 Many have also used this flower in various special occasions such as Mother’s day. Others have popularized these flowers as wedding decor or in a wedding bouquet arrangement. It in fact makes the perfect gift or a great gift for a couple wishing them a long and happy marriage. 

It is no ordinary gesture to share periwinkles making it a great floral gift for friends and family. The small periwinkle flower is a miracle plant of nature for their benefits against many diseases. The Vinca petals, periwinkle seed, and plants leaves have the most significant ornamental and medicinal purposes during medieval times as folk medicine. 

In recent studies involving cancer, the flower was discovered as a preventive medicinal and potential cancer treatment against children with Leukemia and is used as a herbal supplement. The person based this breakthrough because of the plant’s organic substances such as alkaloids vinblastine and vincristine – which have nootropic effects. 

As mentioned earlier, the Vinca also has other functions as a treatment to other day-to-day ailments such as lowering blood pressure and reducing swellings and inflammations.

Other ailments that the flower can treat include diarrhea, sore throat, and chest pains. It also includes abilities to promote wound healing and immune system defenses but be cautious because overusing these can cause serious liver and kidney damage. 

Although a word of warning is advised to seek professional medical help before using these flowers as treatments as side effects include nausea and vomiting.

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