|Common Names||Rose Periwinkle, Madagascar Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle|
|Form||Herb or shrub|
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.
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.
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