Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor) AKA Blue Buttons, Dicky Dilver, Ground Ivy, Sen Green, Periwinkle, Death's Flower

The Lesser Periwinkle plant (Vinca minor) (pictured) is a plant native to central and southern Europe, and is also found as far afield as the Caucasus (to the East), and in southwestern Asia in Turkey. Has clear lavender-coloured flowers with asymmetrical petals. The plant was mentioned by Chaucer as "Pervinke rich of hew". It is also associated with the Virgin Mary because of its colour, and also with Venus.

In the book "British Wild Flowers - In Their Natural Haunts Vol2-4", by A. R. Horwood there is the following historical description:
"The plant is called Blue Buttons, Dicky Dilver, Ground Ivy, Periwinkle, Sen Green. It was supposed to inspire love, and called Death's flower, being scattered over the graves of children in Italy and Tuscany. It was said to signify early recollections or pleasures of memory. Rousseau was struck with their appearance in a hedge when going to Charmattes, and thirty years afterwards, in company with Mme De Stael he saw the flower, and it reminded him of the occasion again. It is much cultivated in grardens and shrubberies."
Medicinal Properties:
  • It has been used as a traditional medicine to treat cardiovascular disorders by enhancing blood circulation (including the brain), and also to enhance metabolism within the brain.
  • Vincamine appears to be responsible for Vinca minor's memory enhancing activity.
Popular Culture:
  • The name Dicky Dilver is one of the few words that rhymes with silver.

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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