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Dec 22, 2010

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle)

Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle) is a native species and Catharanthus endemic to Madagascar. Synonyms include Vinca rosea (basionym it), rosea Ammocallis, and rosea Lochnera; other English names are sometimes used, including Cape periwinkle, Rose periwinkle, Rosy periwinkle, and "Old-maid. "

In the wild, it is a rare plant, the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture. This also but widely cultivated and naturalized in subtropical and tropical regions of the world.

It is evergreen subshrub or shrub plant that grows to 1 m high. The leaves are oval to oblong, 2.5 to 9 cm and 1 to 3.5 cm wide, glossy green, hairy, with pale midrib and short stalks 1 to 1.8 cm, they are arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are white to dark pink with dark red center, with a basal tube 2.5 to 3 cm long and 2-5 cm corolla with five-petal lobes similar. Fruit is a follicle 2-4 cm long and 3 mm wide.

The species has long been cultivated for herbal medicine and as an ornamental plant. In traditional Chinese medicine, extracts from it have been used to treat various illnesses, including diabetes, malaria, and Hodgkin's disease, vinblastine and vincristine extracted substances from plants used in the treatment of leukemia.

This conflict between the indigenous history, and a new patent on the drug C.roseus derived by western pharmaceutical companies, without compensation, has led to charges of biopiracy.

It can be dangerous if taken orally. It can be hallucinations,. and quoted (under its synonym Vinca rosea) at Louisiana State Act 159.

As an ornamental plant, it is appreciated for its hardiness in dry conditions and malnutrition, popular in subtropical gardens where temperatures never fall below 5 ° C to 7 ° C, and as a warm-season plants in the garden is sleeping. It should be noted for its flowering over a long period, throughout the year in tropical conditions, and from spring to autumn in temperate climates warm. Land full sun and well drained is preferred. Some cultivar has been selected, to variation in flower color (white, purple youth, peach, red and reddish-orange), and also for tolerance growing conditions in cold climates. Popular cultivars include 'Albus' (white flowers), 'Grape Cooler' (rose-pink, cool-tolerant), the Group Ocellatus (various colors), and 'Peppermint Cooler' (white with red center, cool-tolerant).

C. roseus used in plant pathology as an experimental host for phytoplasmas This is because it is easy to infect with most phytoplasmas, and also often have a very typical symptoms such as phyllody and significantly reduce the size of the leaf.


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