Plants

Pink Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)

Do you know the Catharantus roseus plant ? You may have seen this herbaceous plant and it surprised you with the intense color of its flowers, but it may also be that you did not even realize that it was this species of plant that is well known, in addition to its ornamental nature., for its different types of uses and for not requiring a large amount of care when growing.

It is a plant widely used in medicine due to its properties and having one in your home would mean giving life to a species that is always usually found in danger. In this article we will teach you its characteristics, its care and why its cultivation in the gardens of our homes is so important.

Features Catharantus roseus

The Catharantus roseus are herbaceous plants evergreen constant bloom, which can have a maximum height of one meter and is usually found in the world of botany with different synonyms.

Among these are Lochnera rosea and Vinca rosea, the Vinca of Madagascar being also a very characteristic name, and this is because this African place is the only one in the world where this type of plant is endemic.

The shape of its leaves can be both oblong and oval, and they can reach a length of 9 centimeters in their largest specimens, with a width that will not exceed 4 centimeters.

These show a smooth texture on their entire surface, without any type of porosity and where the nerves of a lighter green color are marked and a petiole that will not exceed two centimeters in length.

With regard to its flowers, these are formed by about five petals, which find a basal union in the tube that is formed and can have the same diameter as that of its corolla, which measures about five centimeters in diameter..

A calyx of five sepals that do not exceed a centimeter in length, will end in a pink corolla that is usually much lighter in those specimens that we will find in open places and that have grown wild, finding in the ornamental varieties much more colorful flowers marked, and even different combinations of shades that give it a special ornamental beauty.

Two follicles between two and four centimeters long and a few millimeters wide are its fruits, which have as a special characteristic the dehiscence that is produced by a suture that is located on the inside.

The vilano that its seeds demonstrate is in charge of making them disperse homogeneously in the soils, to continue their development in the wild, although this does not usually thrive in large quantities almost anywhere, Madagascar being a great exception.

In other parts of the world, their lack of development has to do with certain natural and caused accidents in the habitats where they are found. It is believed that the original origin of this plant is in the African country of Madagascar, where today it is usually found endemically, this being the only place where it develops in this way.

But wild specimens of this are also known in a large number of tropical and subtropical countries, among which are Asia, Africa and South America, as well as in Australia, where its use in a decorative way is usually very common.

There are also other countries that are within the tropical strip where plantations of this are made. Such are the cases of Cuba, El Salvador, Yucatán and Israel, although it is also usually found that it is a very abundant specimen throughout the lower zone of India and Sri Lanka.

Its medicinal and ornamental uses are what have made this plant circumvent all continental barriers and reach all those places where a warm climate can welcome it.

Why is cultivation important

Some characteristics that we have already mentioned and others that we will delve into below, are what make this plant one of those that you must take into account to have a garden. There are many benefits and the advantages that its cultivation will bring to your life and the environment:

They don’t require as much care

One of the characteristics that makes Catharantus roseus one of the useful plants for your home is that it will mean incredible ornamental beauty and you can enjoy its benefits without being too heavy to grow. On the contrary, it does not require great care.

These will not lose their ornamental beauty even if they are found in dry environments, demonstrating their great resistance and can also develop exposed to full sun without any problems and that is why it is usually used to a greater extent as a plant that adorns exteriors.

When you cultivate it, you will see how it begins to grow in a good way without any type of addition. This means that no type of fertilizers are needed for it to look well developed. They have a special tolerance to both low and high temperatures and can be planted both in hot areas and in those where the heat is usually oppressive.

Medical uses

That Catharantus roseus is a plant that has certain healing properties is not a discovery of science in recent years, quite the contrary. Its use dates back to the times of ancient ancient settlements.

But that does not mean that this plant is still used today in different types of preparations and continues to provide very beneficial medicinal properties. Among the compounds that this type of plant contains are vincristine and vinblastine, which are two alkaloids to which essential properties are attributed to the fight against certain cancers.

This is why it is currently used in patients who are undergoing treatment for leukemia. Another component for which it is widely used is reserpine, which has its uses in certain treatments against arterial pressure, as well as to treat certain conditions related to mental health, more precisely in people who show certain psychosis.

In what has to do with its most ancient uses, this plant was used in the world of ancient medicine as a palliative for diseases such as diabetes and malaria, among several others.

Although there are many other medicinal uses that are usually given, it is the same doctors who usually moderate and even do not indicate them for certain minor inconveniences, and this has to do with the fact that home remedies with too much content of this were used to be used and it used to cause all kinds of hallucinations in the people who consumed them.

An ornamental and medicinal plant, which would grow without problems in your tropical garden. All are benefits with Catharantus roseus, which can become the next species to add color to your open spaces.

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