Catharanthus roseus, Madagascar Periwinkle or Rosy Periwinkle, or Vinca is a member of the Apocynaceae family of plants. It has a very toxic sap. It has pink flowers with five petals. The foliage is dark green and leathery. It is an evergreen herbaceous sub-shrub. Catharanthus roseus is native to Madagascar.
Catharanthus roseus is popular in many gardens but it also is being used for medicinal purposes. They used it in Chinese medicine to treat a number of ailments. More recently, while they were researching it for its anti-diabetic properties, they discovered that it contains alkaloids that they now use in chemotherapy to treat several types of cancer including childhood leukemia.
How to grow Catharanthus roseus:
Grow Catharanthus roseus in full sun or partial shade. Plant it in sandy, rich, and well-drained soil. You can propagate by seed or cuttings. The sap is very toxic if ingested. Catharanthus roseus does not withstand frost.