Friday 23 February 2024

Spring Herb Lore: Greater Periwinkle or Sorcerer's Violet

I spotted this periwinkle flowering on a roadside verge as I was walking home from the shops the other day. I think its more accurately a greater periwinkle, or Vinca major. 

I've blogged in the past about Madagascan periwinkle being used in herbal medicine. You can find that post here. Greater periwinkle has been used by herbalists to treat skin conditions, but the purple flower that blooms in early spring is also used in European folk magic. According to the website Botanical an old name for the plant was  "Sorcerer's Violet" and it was used for making love potions as well as for getting rid of "evil spirits"

The flower grows on long vines which can be used to make really pretty spring garlands or wreaths. However, don't let your pets eat the plant as it is poisonous to cats and dogs. 

I recently started prompts to share seasonal pictures, art, crafts, words and other creativity, so please leave a comment or share a photo of what you're doing or what you see out and about as the wheel turns. You can find my prompts to share on my Facebook Page: Lucya Starza Pagan Portals Author or share on Instagram or X with the tag #RoundingtheYear

My book Pagan Portals - Rounding the Wheel of the Year offers more ways to celebrate the seasons in ritual, magic, folklore and nature. You can find it at estoeric bookshops and via my publisher Moon Books:

You can also view Rounding the Wheel of the Year on Amazon. 

(Notes: I earn commission from advertisers for some links, this helps support my blog at no extra cost to readers. This post is for information purposes, it is not medical advice.)


Jane Mortimer said...

Vinca major is a pretty plant. A friend gave me some to put in my front garden decades ago. "Good ground cover", she said. It turned out to be a thug, growing through everything from the ground up to about a yard high until the garden was completely choked! I spotted one of its purple flowers today, which means I have to go and get on top of it again. I would advise your readers to beware of actually planting this in their gardens, Lucya. Best to admire it somewhere else!

Badwitch said...

Jane, thanks for the warning!