Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Catharanthus roseus

(L.) G. Don, Gen. Hist. Dichl. Pl. 4:95. 1837 (1838)

Lochnera rosea (L.) Reichb.

Herb, to 60 cm tall, usually woody at base, sparsely pu­bescent on leaves and young stems; sap milky. Leaves opposite; petioles 3-10 mm long, with axillary glands; blades obovate to spatulate, mucronulate, acute to atten­uate at base, mostly 3.5-6 cm long, 0.7-3 cm wide, slightly succulent. Flowers 1-4, clustered near apex, on pedicels 1-3 mm long; calyx lobes 5, linear-lanceolate, 3-7 mm long, sparsely pubescent; corolla salverform, white to pinkish, the tube 2-2.5 cm long, pubescent inside at throat, the lobes 5, ± obovate, apiculate, 1.5-2.5 cm long; stamens included, attached near apex of tube; anthers free, ca 2 mm long; style 1; stigma 1, massive, pentagonal-umbraculiform. Follicles paired, slender, terete, 1.5-2.5 cm long, longitudinally ridged, with stiff, short trichomes; seeds not seen. Croat 9389, Ebinger 204.

Rare, in clearings. Flowers and fruits throughout the year.

Native to Madagascar, but cultivated and escaped throughout the tropics. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and Herrera.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Catharanthus roseus
  • Catharanthus roseus
  • Catharanthus roseus, flower
  • Catharanthus roseus, flowers
  • Catharanthus roseus, flowers and leaves
  • Catharanthus roseus, flowers and leaves