Help identifying ivy-like ground cover near home

HopeRyan72June 17, 2013

I found this ground covering plant in a forest near my home in western ny. It sprouts up every spring in the deep shade right off the road, and lives all through summer and dies in late fall. It almost is Ivy like in nature because there is one single "stalk" coming out of the ground, and the leaves branch off of it. I think it is gorgeous and would look great in the permanent shade under my tall pine tree, but i want to identify it before i break out the shovel to make sure its not poisonous or something. That would be my luck. I have touched it and walked through it without any reactions. I was just hoping that Identifying it would help me learn if it will spread on its own and if it is extremely invasive. etc.

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Looks like Vinca minor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vinca

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:56PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

commonly known as myrtle

it does NOT die back..

and has pale lavender flowers in season ...

it is a perennial ...

it is not poisonous .... [though i never tried to eat it] .. to the touch ...

i would take scissors.. and dig the roots.. and trim the rest back to 6 inches or so.. and let the roots get re-established.. before it starts growing again.. trying to take a couple feet of runner.. might be hard to do ...


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Ken, why don't you recommend that it be swiftly and completely removed like you usually recommend for weeds?

This is a horrible weed and there are even infestations in national forests! One plant that if you give it an inch will take a mile!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:27PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

'Myrtle???' That's a new one on me. Periwinkle is the usual common name here.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:29PM
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That's why we use binomials.

Excerpt from Wikipedia...

Vinca minor (common names lesser periwinkle or dwarf periwinkle) is a species of flowering plant native to central and southern Europe, from Portugal and France north to the Netherlands and the Baltic States, east to the Caucasus, and also southwestern Asia in Turkey. Other vernacular names used in cultivation include small periwinkle, common periwinkle, and sometimes in the United States, myrtle or creeping myrtle,[1] although this is misleading, as the name myrtle normally refers to the Myrtus species.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:32PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Not only known as 'myrtle,' but also 'creeping myrtle.'

I also vote that the OP leaves it in the forest. The Former Owners left me some along the north side of the house; it's all tangled in a spirea, and I still haven't gotten it all.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 2:34PM
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Oh, I misread the post. Please do not transplant it! In fact, I'd rip it out of where you found it. It doesn't belong in the forest.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:24PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

rugbyhukr - most common names involving 'Myrtle' refer either to white flowers or scent, neither of which Vinca minor has, so it does seem an odd choice.

BTW - I'm still intrigued by your GW name. Fan or player?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 4:35PM
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