Indian names: Sadabahar, Sadapushpi, Sadaphuli, Baramasi, Nayantara . Common name : Catharanthus roseus, Vinca, cape periwinkle, rosy periwinkle, Madagascar. Vinca is a flowering plant as well as a medicinal plant. It is an evergreen perinnial frequently used in cultivation as groundcover.
Vinca plants are sub shrubs or herbaceous, and have slender trailing stems 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) long but not growing more than 20–70 cm (8–27.5 in) above ground; the stems frequently take root where they touch the ground, enabling the plant to spread widely
The flowers, produced through most of the year, are salver form2.5–7 cm (0.98–2.76 in) broad, with five usually Pale Pink and white petals joined together at the base to form a tube. The fruit consists of a pair of divergent follicles; a dry fruit which is dehiscent along one rupture site in order to release seeds.
Two of the species, Vinca major and Vinca minor, are extensively cultivated as a flowering evergreen ornamental plant.
The plants are easy to grow and spread quickly.
Medicainal Use : In Ayurveda the extracts of its roots and shoots, though poisonous, are used against several disease. It is also used in disease like diabetes, malaria, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The chemotherapy agent vincristine is extracted from Vinca rosea (current name Catharanthus roseus, and is used to treat some leukemias lymphomas and childhood cancers as well as several other types of cancer and some non-cancerous conditions.