Madagascar Periwinkle varieties – white and red, tall and low… find them all!

Red Madagascar Periwinkle with white halo

There are hundreds of Madagascar periwinkle varieties. They vary in size and shape, and of course in flower color. Here’s a list of the main types of Madagascar periwinkle you can find in garden stores.

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Within a series, plants share the same “habit”. This means they will all grow as tall and wide. All have similar hardiness and disease resistance.

  • The difference between varieties or cultivars within a series is only the color of the flowers… and the dashing marketing names, too!

Some individual flowers appeared in nurseries and were singled out for production. They aren’t part of a “series”.

Important note:

  • Most of these are selected and honed to perfection by breeders. They’re often protected by a plant patent, which means they can’t be propagated without permission.
  • Older varieties are harder to come by. Attend plant swaps and share with neighbors to find old stock.
  • Wild varieties and cultivars are the most difficult to come by. They’re actually endangered in their native habitat, Madagascar, so best not disturb them any further.

Individual cultivars of Madagascar periwinkle

These are flowers that are propagated through cuttings or through micro-propagation.

  • Seeds from these plants won’t always grow into true copies of their parents.

‘Apricot Delight’ – more like an open peach actually, since the petals are a peachy-yellow color and the center is a blood-red hue. Actually a hybrid, a cross between Catharanthus roseus and Catharanthus trichophyllus. Not patent-protected anymore, free for propagation.

‘Passion’ – Yellow center and deep purple color for the outer color. 1½ feet tall (45 cm). Not patent-protected anymore, free for propagation.

‘Blue Pearl’ – Lavender purple with a white center. The “bluest” of all the Madagascar periwinkle flowers to date.

‘Nirvana Cascade Pink Splash’ – White-rimmed with a pink heart, beautiful

‘Pretty in Rose’, ‘Pretty in Pink’ and ‘Pretty in White’ – Pale pink and white, respectively. Bred by the University of Connecticut. Free for propagation since they’re not patent-protected anymore. Hybrids as well.

‘Parasol’ – Among the first to have overlapping petals, closing the gaps to make a round flower. Also a University of Connecticut flower, since released from any form of protection. White with a red center. Also hybrids. In its heyday, an All-American Selection winner.

‘Pink Panther’ – An older variety, developed in Japan in 1984. It’s a natural mutation from the ‘Little Linda’. A much deeper hue of pink. Now free for propagation.

Taller Madagascar periwinkle series

These are all taller than a foot (30 cm) and tend to grow upright. They will fill in the space between short bulb flowers and taller shrubs with gusto!

‘Tropicana’ series

Plants grow a foot to a foot-and-a-half tall (30 to 45 cm), with several different colors. Copes well with excessive heat and moisture. Like the ‘Apricot Delight’, these are hybrid, a cross between Catharanthus roseus and Catharanthus trichophyllus.

  • Developed by a university in the 1990s, these now belong to the public domain. This means they can be propagated without any restrictions.

Here are the varieties found on the market:

  • ‘Tropicana Apricot’, ‘Tropicana Blush’, ‘Tropicana Bright Eye’, ‘Tropicana Pink’, ‘Tropicana Rose’

Colors – pale pink, dark pink, pink, white

Supplier – University of Connecticut

‘Cora’ series

These varieties boast higher disease resistance.

  • Root rot and wilting occur less, making these a better choice in places where drainage isn’t ideal.

Blooming lasts for a longer time, too. These typically grow to just above a foot in height (14 inches or 35 cm). Flower petals overlap nicely to create a whirling effect that is very nice!

Includes the following:

  • ‘Cora Apricot’, ‘Cora Deep Lavender’, ‘Cora Lavender’, ‘Cora Burgundy’, ‘Cora Pink’, ‘Cora Punch’, ‘Cora Strawberry’, ‘Cora Violet’, ‘Cora White’

A variant with special stress-resistance gave rise to a new set within this series: the XDR series.

  • ‘Cora XDR Deep Strawberry’, ‘Cora XDR Cranberry’, ‘Cora XDR Hotgenta’, ‘Cora XDR Light Pink’, ‘Cora XDR Magenta Halo’, ‘Cora XDR Orchid’, ‘Cora XDR Pink Halo’, ‘Cora XDR Polka Dot’, ‘Cora XDR Punch’, and ‘Cora XDR White’.

Colors – white, violet, electric violet, pink, bordeaux, lilac, purple

Supplier – Syngenta flowers

‘First Kiss’ series

Several of these won the All-American Selection award.

  • ‘First Kiss Apricot’, ‘First Kiss Blueberry’, ‘First Kiss Blush’, ‘First Kiss Cherry red’, ‘First Kiss Coral’, ‘First Kiss Icy Pink’, ‘First Kiss Orchid’, ‘First Kiss Peach’, ‘First Kiss Polka Dot’, ‘First Kiss Raspberry’, ‘First Kiss Rose’, ‘First Kiss Ruby’, ‘First Kiss Sunrise’, ‘First Kiss Think Pink’, ‘First Kiss White’

Supplier – Benary+

‘Cooler’ series

Flowers are larger on these varieties, about 2 inches or 5 cm. Do rather well in cooler and wetter settings. Now free for propagation, so you can go ahead and reproduce these at will.

Many official cultivars:

  • ‘Cooler Apricot’, ‘Cooler Blush’, ‘Cooler Coconut’, ‘Cooler Deep Orchid’, ‘Cooler Grape’, ‘Cooler Hot Rose’, ‘Cooler Icy Pink’, ‘Cooler Lavender Halo’, ‘Cooler Orchid’, ‘Cooler Peppermint’, ‘Cooler Pink’, ‘Cooler Raspberry’, ‘Cooler Red’, ‘Cooler Rose’, ‘Cooler Strawberry’.

Colors – pink, pale pink, stark pink, lavender, violet, white, crimson, peach

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Heatwave’ series

Almost two feet (40 cm) tall, excellent when climate is hot and dry. Early bloomer.

The plant variety protection expired for many of these in 2019, meaning they can now be propagated without permission by anybody.

  • ‘Heatwave Apricot’, ‘Heatwave Blue With Eye’, ‘Heatwave Burgundy’, ‘Heatwave Cherry’, ‘Heatwave Raspberry’, ‘Heatwave Deep Rose’, ‘Heatwave Grape’, ‘Heatwave White’, ‘Heatwave Orchid’, ‘Heatwave Peach’, ‘Heatwave Peppermint’, ‘Heatwave Pink’, ‘Heatwave Rose’, ‘Heatwave Santa Fe’
  • A few varieties are still protected until 2026: ‘Heatwave Red’

Colors – burgundy, pink, lavender, white, bordeaux, peach

Supplier – HEM Genetics (originally developed by John Bodger & Sons Co.)

‘Pacifica’ series

Same size flowers as the Cooler series, but with petals that overlap nicely, making the flower seem almost round! At ease in climates that are often hot and moist.

Many vintage varieties of the ‘Pacifica’ series are now allowed for propagation without restriction. These are among the ‘Pacifica’ varieties that don’t have the “XP” in them.

  • ‘Pacifica Apricot’ (PVP9800181), ‘Pacifica Pink’ (PVP9700087), ‘Pacifica Deep Orchid’ (PVP9700085), ‘Pacifica Red’, ‘Pacifica Punch’
  • Note that some are still protected until 2029: ‘Pacifica Burgundy Halo’, ‘Pacifica Really Red’, ‘Pacifica Dark Red’. For ‘Pacifica Rose Halo’, ‘Pacifica Orchid Halo’, ‘Pacifica Cherry Halo’ and ‘Pacifica Magenta Halo’, 2027 is the year that protection is relinquished.

Varieties in the XP series include these:

VarietyColor
‘Pacifica XP Apricot’light pink, red center
‘Pacifica XP Orange’deep salmon, white center
‘Pacifica XP Cranberry’red wine, white dot center
‘Pacifica XP Blush’pink, red center
‘Pacifica XP Burgundy’dark pink, red center
‘Pacifica XP Burgundy Halo’dark pink, white center
‘Pacifica XP Cherry Red Halo’red-pink, white center
‘Pacifica XP Dark Red’red through and through
‘Pacifica XP Deep Orchid’violet pink, white dot center
‘Pacifica XP Icy Pink’pale pink, white center
‘Pacifica XP Lilac’pastel pink, dark red center
‘Pacifica XP Magenta Halo’violet pink, white center
‘Pacifica XP Polka dot’white, red dot center
‘Pacifica XP Punch’warm pink, red center
‘Pacifica XP Raspberry’pastel pink, white dot center
‘Pacifica XP Really Red’true red, white dot center
‘Pacifica XP Rose Halo’pink, white center
‘Pacifica XP White’white through and through

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Stardust’ series

These have a white center in common, making it look like a star! But the flowers can be ultraviolet, pink, or light-crimson red.

Most of these, if not all, are now fully released from patent protection. They can be propagated at will.

  • ‘Stardust Orchid’, ‘Stardust Pink’, ‘Stardust Rose’

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed, previously (discontinued)

‘Tattoo’ series

Also about 1 foot (30 cm) tall, these are special in that the center is a deep, almost black color. It gives the flowers a striking touch! Space these only half a foot apart. These are the bleeding edge of breeding, having been developed in 2018 and only now coming to the market!

For now, these only include the following:

  • ‘Tattoo Black Cherry’ – bright pink with swaths of ultraviolet
  • ‘Tattoo Papaya’ – salmon-pink with a deep burgundy center
  • ‘Tattoo Raspberry’ – pink with a dark red center
  • ‘Tattoo Tangerine’ – salmon-pink with a dark center, but a bright white dot in the middle!
  • ‘Tattoo Blueberry’ – purple with a black center

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Jams ‘N Jellies’ series

Stark colors make this series stand out. For now, only one variety, often paired with others from other series.

  • ‘Jams ‘N Jellies Blackberry’ – violet-black with a white center. Variety protected until 2032.

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

Shorter series of Madagascar periwinkle

These rarely reach a foot in height. Ground cover is the perfect use for them, but creative landscapers use them to flow down ledges and pots with great success!

‘Little’ series

Shorter than average, topping out at 10 inches or 25 cm. Developed in the 1980s and 1990, now free to use and propagate without permission.

Typical varieties include:

  • ‘Little Linda’, ‘Little Salmon’, ‘Little Blanche’, ‘Little Bright Eye’, ‘Little Delicata’, ‘Little Pinkie’

‘Cora cascade’ series

High disease resistance coupled with a trailing habit. Barely taller than half a foot, but trails to over three feet (15 cm and 90 cm respectively).

The following of these Madagascar periwinkle varieties are available:

  • ‘Cora Cascade Peach Blush’, ‘Cora Cascade Apricot’, ‘Cora Cascade Cherry Imp.’, ‘Cora Cascade Lavender with Eye’, ‘Cora Cascade Lilac’, ‘Cora Cascade Polka Dot’, ‘Cora Cascade Shell Pink’, ‘Cora Cascade Strawberry’, ‘Cora Cascade Violet’, ‘Cora Cascade White’

Colors – pink, pale pink, stark pink, lavender, violet, white, crimson, peach

Supplier – Syngenta flowers

‘Jaio’ Series

Brought to us from Japan, these are short and stout and look great in pots.

  • ‘Jaio Dark Red’, ‘Jaio Cherry Red’, ‘Jaio Silver Pink’, ‘Jaio Vermillion Eye’, ‘Jaio Light Blue’, ‘Jaio Bicolor Deep Rose’, ‘Jaio Pepper Mint’, ‘Jaio White’, ‘Jaio Light Scarlet’, ‘Jaio Vermillion’, ‘Jaio Salmon Pink’, ‘Jaio Salmon Pink Eye’, ‘Jaio Sky Blue’, ‘Jaio Scarlet Eye’

Colors – violet, peach, pink, different shades of red, white, carmine

Supplier – Murakami Seed Co., Ltd.

‘Mega Bloom’ series

These have the largest flowers of all, enough to fully cover the bush when in good growing conditions! Top out at around 10 inches (25 cm).

Includes the following:

  • ‘Mega Bloom Dark Red’, ‘Mega Bloom Polka Dot’, ‘Mega Bloom White’, ‘Mega Bloom Lavender’, ‘Mega Bloom Icy Pink’, ‘Mega Bloom Strawberry’, ‘Mega Bloom Burgundy with Eye’, ‘Mega Bloom Peach Pink’, ‘Mega Bloom Orchid Halo’, ‘Mega Bloom Grape’, ‘Mega Bloom Pink’, ‘Mega Bloom Red’, ‘Mega Bloom Raspberry’, ‘Mega Bloom Apricot’

Colors – pale pink, pink, deep red, violet, white, lavender

Supplier – Ameriseed

‘Carpet’ series

These are closer to crawling flowers than they are to mounding or upright ones: they only reach about half a foot in height (4 to 8 inches or 10 to 20 cm), often even only half that! Ideal for ground cover, since each plant can cover over a square foot (30 cm squared).

  • Only a few varieties: ‘Rose Carpet’, ‘Pink Carpet’, ‘Magic Carpet’, ‘Dawn Carpet’

‘Victory’ series

Good disease resistance and strong roots are the mark of this series. Two inches shy of a foot (25cm) when mature, more narrow than it is tall.

Includes the following varieties, protected until 2025: ‘Victory Pure White’, ‘Victory Apricot’, ‘Victory Cranberry’, ‘Victory Red’

  • ‘Victory Blue’, ‘Victory Bright Eye’, ‘Victory Carmine’, ‘Victory Deep Pink’, ‘Victory Grape’, ‘Victory Lavender’, ‘Victory Light Pink’, ‘Victory Light Pink with Red Eye’, ‘Victory Purple’,

Colors – pink, pale pink, bright red, lavender, violet, white

Supplier – Sakata Ornamentals

‘SunStorm’ series

At just under a foot, an early bloomer that grows perfectly in small pots.

  • ‘SunStorm Apricot’, ‘Sunstorm Blush’, ‘Sunstorm Bright Red’, ‘Sunstorm Deep Lilac’, ‘Sunstorm Deep Orchid’, ‘Sunstorm Deep Pink’, ‘Sunstorm Light Blue’, ‘Sunstorm Orchid Halo’, ‘Sunstorm Pure White’, ‘Sunstorm Purple’, ‘Sunstorm Red’, ‘Sunstorm Red Halo’, ‘Sunstorm Rose with Eye’, ‘Sunstorm White with Eye’

Colors – pink, pale pink, bright red, lavender, violet, white

Supplier – Syngenta flowers

‘Mediterranean’ series

Also like the carpet series, rather short (5 to 6 inches). Spread much further to over 2 feet (60 cm)! Excellent for training down a ledge or to hang from a suspension pot. This series counts some of the only really red Madagascar periwinkle flowers. Heat and the occasional short dry spell won’t bother this series much.

The vintage Mediterranean vinca series was initially bred starting in the late 1970s. There’s no more patent on those so their propagation is permitted for free!

  • This includes the ‘Mediterranean Lilac’ (PVP9800182) and others.

In garden stores, however, you’ll only find newer “Mediterranean XP” varieties. There are beautiful, but since these plants are still protected by a patent, propagation is forbidden. Since protection was granted in 2010, propagation without restrictions can likely occur earliest in 2030.

  • These include the ‘XP Burgundy Halo’, ‘XP Rose Halo’, ‘XP Dark Red’, ‘XP Hot Rose’, ‘XP Strawberry’, ‘XP White’ ‘XP Peach’ (actually a pale pink) and the ‘XP Red’.
  • ‘Lipstick Mixture’ and ‘Mixture’ are a combination of the above, for seed packs.

Colors – true red, white, and rosy pink

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Soirée’, ‘Soirée Crown’, ‘Soirée Double’, ‘Soirée Kawaii’ series

Soirée Kawaii series have very different flower shapes: they’re much smaller, and petals are narrow. It’s almost like a shrubby Mexican orange bloom! Wonderful in baskets and pots. Not quite a foot tall (25 cm). Kawaii means “Cute”!

  • ‘Soirée Kawaii Coral’, ‘Soirée Kawaii Lavender’, ‘Soirée Kawaii Light Purple ‘, ‘Soirée Kawaii Pink’, ‘Soirée Kawaii Red Shades’, ‘Soirée Kawaii White Peppermint’

Soirée Double Series are double-flowered, meaning more petals than the usual on each bloom.

  • ‘Soirée Double White’, ‘Soirée Double Orchid’ and ‘Soirée Double Pink’

Soirée Crown Series have only five petals, but they’re ridged. This makes them stand out compared to other Madagascar periwinkles.

  • ‘Soirée Crown Pink’, ‘Soirée Crown Rose’

Colors – purple, lavender, red, white, pink

Supplier – Monrovia

‘Titan’ series

Don’t let the name mislead you – these aren’t tall! They’re simply more stress-resistant. And their flowers are among the biggest in the family!

  • ‘Titan Really Red’, ‘Titan Rose Halo’, ‘Titan Apricot’, ‘Titan Icy Pink’, ‘Titan Pure White’, ‘Titan Blush’, ‘Titan Burgundy’, ‘Titan Lavender Blue’, ‘Titan Lilac’, ‘Titan Polka dot’, ‘Titan Punch’ and ‘Titan Rose’.

Colors – red, pink, violet, lavender, white

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Valiant’ series

These are resistant to several common diseases and are excellent for landscaping in the open. Only 8 inches tall (20 cm).

  • ‘Valiant Apricot’, ‘Valiant Magenta’, ‘Valiant Burgundy’, ‘Valiant Lilac’, ‘Valiant Orchid’, ‘Valiant Punch’ and, lastly, ‘Valiant Pure White’.

Colors – different shades of pink, and white

Supplier – PanAmerican Seed

‘Blockbuster’ series

Among the largest flowers at 2+ inches (6 cm), for a height just under a foot (28 cm). F1 hybrids.

  • ‘Blockbuster Burgundy’, ‘Blockbuster Crimson’, ‘Blockbuster Apricot’, ‘Blockbuster Dark Red’, ‘Blockbuster Icy Watermelon’, ‘Blockbuster Peppermint’, ‘Blockbuster Punch’, ‘Blockbuster Purple’, ‘Blockbuster Red With Eye’ and ‘Blockbuster White’.

Colors – pink, pale pink, bright red, lavender, violet, white

Supplier – Syngenta flowers (originally developed by floranova)

‘Cobra’ series

About 8 to 10 inches tall (20 to 25 cm), ideal for dense planting. F1 hybrids.

  • ‘Cobra Orange’, ‘Cobra Orchid Eye’, ‘Cobra Apricot’, ‘Cobra Red’, ‘Cobra Passion Fruit’, ‘Cobra Peppermint’, ‘Cobra Purple Eye’, ‘Cobra Red Eye’, ‘Cobra Rose Eye’, ‘Cobra White’ and ‘Cobra Rose’.

Colors – pink, pale pink, bright red, lavender, violet, white, peach

Supplier – Syngenta flowers (originally developed by floranova)

‘Vitesse’ series

Fast-growing, as its name implies (“vitesse” means “speed” in French and Canadian French). F1 hybrids as well.

  • ‘Vitesse Apricot’, ‘Vitesse Blue’, ‘Vitesse Dark Red’, ‘Vitesse Lavender Morn’, ‘Vitesse Orange’, ‘Vitesse Peppermint’, ‘Vitesse Pink’, ‘Vitesse Purple’, ‘Vitesse Rose’, ‘Vitesse Rose Morn’, ‘Vitesse White’.

Colors – pink, pale pink, deep orange, violet, white

Supplier – Syngenta flowers (originally developed by floranova)

Smart tip about Madagascar periwinkle varieties

Remember to jot down in your garden logbook the name of the variety you’re planting. When they become public domain, you might be able to propagate them for others!

Read also:

Polka Dot Madagascar Periwinkle variety


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Red Madagascar periwinkle with white halo by Goran Horvat under Pixabay license
White and Red Madagascar Periwinkle by Goran Horvat under Pixabay license