Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don

Etymology Genus Immaculate flower
Species Rosy
Family Apocynaceae
Synonyms -
Common Names Rose Periwinkle, Madagascar Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle
Status Exotic: Naturalised
Form Herb or shrub
Native Distribution Madagascar

Diagnostics:

Catharanthus roseus is a widely naturalised small herb or shrub in Singapore. The striking pink flower, often reddish stem, and the whitish leaf venation help to identify this lovely plant.


Interesting Facts:

The Rose Periwinkle is an endemic species to Madagascar. It is widely known for the discovery of chemical compounds that have since been used in treating cancer. From Kew Species Profile, "whilst researching the anti-diabetic properties of the plant in the 1950s, scientists discovered the presence of several highly toxic alkaloids in its tissues. These alkaloids are now used in the treatment of a number of different types of cancer, with one derived compound, called vincristine, having been credited with raising the survival rate in childhood leukaemia from less than 10% in 1960 to over 90% today."


A natural growing herb sprouting between the gaps of rocks.

Leaves. Note the white venations.

Flower.

Fruits.


References

Kew Species Profiles (n.d.) Catharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don. Plants of the World Online http://powo.science.kew.org. Accessed on 8-Apr-2018




Author: Jake
Posted: 2018-04-08 / Modified: 2018-04-09