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Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is a species of Catharanthus native and endemic to Madagascar. Synonyms include Vinca rosea (the basionym), Ammocallis rosea, and Lochnera rosea; other English names occasionally used include Cape Periwinkle, Rose Periwinkle, Rosy Periwinkle, and "Old-maid".
In the wild, it is an endangered plant; the main cause of decline is habitat destruction by slash and burn agriculture. It is also however widely cultivated and is naturalised in subtropical and tropical areas of the world.
It is an evergreen sub shrub or herbaceous plant growing to 1 m tall. The leaves are oval to oblong, 2.5-9 cm long and 1-3.5 cm broad, glossy green, hairless, with a pale midrib and a short petiole 1-1.8 cm long; they are arranged in opposite pairs. The flowers are white to dark pink with a darker red center, with a basal tube 2.5-3 cm long and a corolla 2-5 cm diameter with five petal-like lobes. The fruit is a pair of follicles 2-4 cm long and 3 mm broad.
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- Asia, Australia, Central America, North America, South America, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa