The Full Wiki

Catharanthus: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Catharanthus pusillus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Catharanthus

See text

Catharanthus (Madagascar Periwinkle) is a genus of eight species of herbaceous perennial plants, seven endemic to the island of Madagascar, the eighth native to the Indian subcontinent in southern Asia.Jordan [1][2] C. roseus goes by its common name "sadaphuli" (perennially flowering) in parts of Western India.



  • Catharanthus coriaceus Markgr. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus lanceus (Bojer ex A.DC.) Pichon. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus longifolius (Pichon) Pichon. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus ovalis Markgr. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus pusillus (Murray) G.Don. Indian subcontinent.
  • Catharanthus roseus (L.) G.Don. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus scitulus (Pichon) Pichon. Madagascar.
  • Catharanthus trichophyllus (Baker) Pichon. Madagascar.

Uses and cultivation

The species are self-propagating from seed; the seeds require a period of total darkness to germinate. Cuttings from mature plants will also root readily.

Illustration of C. roseus foliage and flowers

One species, C. roseus, has been widely cultivated and introduced, becoming an invasive species in some areas.

Pharmacological uses

C. roseus has gained interest from the pharmaceutical industry; the alkaloids vincristine and vinblastine from its sap have been shown to be an effective treatment for leukaemia and lymphoma. Although the sap is poisonous if ingested, some 70 useful alkaloids have been identified from it. In Madagascar, extracts have been used for hundreds of years in herbal medicine for the treatment of diabetes, as hemostatics and tranquilizers, to lower blood pressure, and as disinfectants. The extracts are not without their side effects, however, which include hair loss.

Vinca alkaloids

Vinca alkaloids are anti-mitotic and anti-microtubule agents. They are now produced synthetically and used as drugs in cancer therapy[3] and as immunosuppressive drugs. These compounds are vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine and vinorelbine. Periwinkle extracts and derivatives, such as vinpocetine, are also used as nootropic drugs.[4]

Catharanthus lanceus contains up to 6% yohimbine in its leaves.[5]


  1. ^ Flora of Madagascar: Catharanthus
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Catharanthus
  3. ^ Takimoto CH, Calvo E. "Principles of Oncologic Pharmacotherapy" in Pazdur R, Wagman LD, Camphausen KA, Hoskins WJ (Eds) Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 11 ed. 2008.
  4. ^ DrugDigest: Catharanthus roseus
  5. ^ Madagascan Periwinkle


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:



  1. a taxonomic genus, within tribe Vinceae - the dogbanes
Wikispecies has information on:


See also

  • Species information wanting


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Gentianales
Familia: Apocynaceae
Subfamilia: Rauvolfioideae
Tribus: Vinceae
Genus: Catharanthus
Species: C. coriaceus - C. lanceus - C. longifolius - C. ovalis - C. pusillus - C. roseus - C. scitulus - C. trichophyllus

Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Catharanthus on Wikimedia Commons.


Catharanthus G.Don, Gen. Hist. 4: 71, 94-95 1837.


  • Ammocallis Small, Fl. S. E. U. S. 935. 1903.
  • Lochnera Rchb. ex Endl., Gen. Pl. 583. 1838. nom. inval.


  • Missouri Botanical Garden. 24 Feb 2009 [1].
Svenska: Rosensk√∂nesl√§ktet

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address