Periwinkle

Source of life-saving drug

A broad, fertile flat between gorge walls supports a dense growth of invasive creeping myrtle. Springtime there is a sprinkling of small blue flowers, this may be the source of another name, periwinkle, or lesser periwinkle.

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Periwinkle is an evergreen and in early times vinca vine (another name we call it, from the scientific name Vinca Minor) was planted in graveyards and cemeteries. The isolated growth of vinca vine in this section of the gorge maybe from such a planting on a lost grave.

Today, the park practices leaving fallen trees in place, here they are covered in years of moss, a memory of headstones. Lesser Perriwinkle is significant for the living as the source of vincamine, from the leaves. A synthetic form of this compound is a potent vasodilator, a therapeutic treatment for stroke and other brain disorders.

These shots were hand held. I used a Sony Alpha 700 dslr with a variable “zoom” lens, great for framing compositions.

Robert H. Treman New York State Park.

Source: Wikipedia, “Vinca Minor.”

Click for a slideshow of this Fertile Flats sequence.

Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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