the scientific name of Nayantara plant is Catharanthus Roseus. This herb is commonly known as Madagascar Periwinkle. As its name suggest, it is a native of Madagascar, but now widely distributed throughout tropical zones including India. Periwinkle is an herbaceous perennial shrub and also cultivated for its ornamental properties. It normally attain a height of 60-80 cms, got a habit of becoming leggy in shady areas. The leaves are arranged oppositely each other.
The flowers are normally white or light pink with a dark pink centre. The extract of periwinkle is used to treat Diabetes and Malaria. Two extracts, vinblastine and vincristine are used to treat leukemia. It also has two substances, which have tranquilizing and sedative properties. In India, leaf extracts also used for treating external wounds. Periwinkle is highly appreciated for its free flowering habit in dry and poor soil condition, though it prefers sandy loam. It flowers throughout the year in tropical regions. Reproduction is done by seed and that also such easy, it can almost fell in weed category. The other synonym of periwinkle is vinca rosea. This plant does not get too affected by either pest or disease. Water logged soil can cause root or stem rot. It also sometimes gets affected by leaf spot. Herbivores do not eat this plant, so it is suitable for border or edging outside of any fencing. Nayantara prefers full sun but can also do well in partial sun. flowers get a darker tinge in shade. Light pruning can be done in winter for more branches.