Discovering the Meaning: What Does Periwinkle Symbolize?

Periwinkle is a name for a beautiful flower that is commonly found in many gardens around the world. It’s a small flower with a lovely purple-blue hue that symbolizes many things in different cultures. But what does periwinkle symbolize exactly? Well, for starters, it’s known to represent love, purity, and inspiration. In ancient times, it was believed that periwinkle had magical properties, and it could ward off evil spirits and protect one’s home.

In Christianity, periwinkle symbolizes the Virgin Mary, and it’s a popular plant to grow in Mary gardens. The French also associate it with the Virgin Mary and call it “herb of the sorceress.” Interestingly, periwinkle has also been used in medicinal practices for centuries, and it’s believed to help with memory retention, fatigue, and anxiety. The alkaloids found in periwinkle plant have been used to create medications to treat blood disorders, diabetes, and even cancer.

In many cultures, periwinkle also symbolizes longevity and endurance. The flower’s ability to grow in various environments, including challenging ones, is seen as a representation of resilience and strength. That’s why it’s often included in bouquets for those who are going through tough times. Whether to signify love, inspiration, purity, or even as a source of medicinal properties, periwinkle is a small flower that holds a big meaning in many cultures around the world.

Periwinkle Flower Meaning

Periwinkle is a beloved flower with a long history of symbolism. Its gentle beauty has been admired for centuries, and many cultures have attributed various meanings to the flower.

The most common meaning associated with periwinkles is eternal love and affection. This symbolism dates back to ancient Greece, where the flower was dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. According to legend, a nymph named Periwinkle fell in love with Apollo, god of the sun. Despite her attempts to win Apollo’s heart, he remained aloof, and Periwinkle eventually passed away from grief. In honor of her love, Apollo transformed her into a flower that would bloom every spring, symbolizing eternal love and devotion.

  • Another common meaning of periwinkles is friendship and loyalty.
  • In Christianity, the flower is associated with the Virgin Mary, often appearing in religious paintings and depictions of the Madonna and Child.
  • In some cultures, periwinkles are used for medicinal purposes, believed to have healing properties for a variety of ailments.

Periwinkles are also frequently used as a symbol of remembrance, particularly in funeral and memorial services. The flower’s delicate purple hue represents the memory of a loved one, bringing comfort and peace to those mourning their loss.

Periwinkle Color Symbolism Periwinkle Number Symbolism
Tranquility, Calmness, Serenity 7, the number of completeness and perfection
Spirituality, Lightness, Harmony 5, the number of balance, harmony, and peace
Purity, Innocence, Grace 8, symbolizing abundance, eternity, and infinity

In addition to the flower’s symbolic meanings, periwinkles are also prized for their hardiness, versatility, and low maintenance requirements. They are a popular choice for home gardens, as well as for use in commercial landscaping and floral arrangements.

Overall, the periwinkle flower holds a special place in the hearts of many, symbolizing love, friendship, remembrance, and more. Its beauty and meaning continue to inspire people around the world, making it a timeless and cherished symbol of hope and devotion.

Historical significance of periwinkle

Periwinkle, also known as Vinca minor or common periwinkle, has a long history of being used for medicinal purposes. Its use can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was believed to have healing properties for a range of ailments. The plant was used as a topical treatment for skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis, as well as digestive issues.

  • The ancient Egyptians also used periwinkle for its medicinal properties, specifically to relieve headaches and reduce inflammation. They also used it to help with nosebleeds and to treat diabetes.
  • In medieval Europe, periwinkle was used to treat a variety of illnesses, such as coughs, digestive problems, and menstrual issues.
  • During World War II, periwinkle was discovered to have valuable properties as an anti-cancer drug. The plant contains alkaloids known as vincristine and vinblastine, which have been found to be effective in treating leukemia and other types of cancer.

Today, periwinkle is still an important plant in traditional medicine practices, particularly in China and India. It is used to treat a variety of illnesses, including eye conditions, respiratory infections, and even cancer.

Country Traditional Use
China Treats digestive issues, eye problems, and cancer
India Treats respiratory infections, diabetes, and cancer
Europe Treats menstrual issues, coughs, and digestive problems

Periwinkle’s historical significance as a medicinal plant cannot be denied. From ancient Greece to modern times, its healing properties have been recognized and utilized. It is a testament to the power of nature and the importance of traditional medicine practices.

Religious Connotations of Periwinkle

Throughout history, different cultures have attributed various symbolic meanings to the periwinkle flower. In religious practices, periwinkle is particularly significant, with many associations to Christianity and numerous other faiths. Below are some of the religious connotations that periwinkle symbolizes:

  • St. Veronica: In Christianity, periwinkle is associated with St. Veronica, who is said to have used the plant’s leaves to wipe the face of Jesus on his way to Calvary. This legend is the origin of the periwinkle’s other name, “Holy Herb,” in many European cultures.
  • Resurrection and Eternal Life: The periwinkle flower’s evergreen foliage and hardy nature give it an association with eternal life and the resurrection, especially in Christianity. It is a common choice for sympathy arrangements and grave decorations.
  • The Holy Trinity: In some traditions, the three petals of the periwinkle flower represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Aside from its Christian symbolism, periwinkle also holds religious significance in other cultures:

In Hinduism, the periwinkle flower is used to honor the goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth, fortune, and prosperity. It is often worn in garlands and placed on altars dedicated to the goddess.

The periwinkle is also a sacred flower in some African traditional religions. It is used in rituals and ceremonies and is believed to offer protection and healing properties.

Overall, periwinkle’s religious connotations span a variety of faiths and cultures, with associations to eternal life, resurrection, and divine beings. Its beauty and symbolic meaning make it a popular choice for various religious occasions and purposes.


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Symbolism of Periwinkle in Literature

The periwinkle flower has long been a symbol in literature, representing a variety of ideas and emotions.

  • Memory: In The Death of the Hired Man by Robert Frost, the periwinkle is used to symbolize memory. When the character Warren reminisces about working with the hired man, he says “And, if he left, the yard would always show/ The maple stain. He left last month, I bet.” The “maple stain” refers to the periwinkle flowers that used to grow in the yard, reminding Warren of the hired man even after he is gone.
  • Love: In Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, the periwinkle is used to symbolize love. In Act IV, Scene V, Juliet instructs her nurse, “Take these keys, and fetch more spices, nurse, They call for dates and quinces in the pastry. Here, take this cord, and thread it through this eyelet. Where is my mother?” The “keys” and “cord” that Juliet gives to the nurse are embroidered with periwinkle flowers, symbolizing the love between Juliet and Romeo despite their families’ feud.
  • Remembrance: In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the periwinkle is used to symbolize remembrance. After Dorian murders Basil, he sends a bouquet of flowers to Basil’s home. The bouquet includes periwinkle flowers, which represent Dorian’s memory of Basil and the guilt he feels for killing him.

Periwinkle has also been used in literature to symbolize perseverance, friendship, and loyalty. Its versatile symbolism reflects the complexity and beauty of the flower itself.

Periwinkle in Modern Literature

While periwinkle has appeared in literature for centuries, modern authors continue to use the flower as a symbol for various ideas and emotions.

For example, in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Hazel and Augustus visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. They notice that Anne Frank had periwinkle flowers in her diary, which they interpret as a symbol of hope in the face of extraordinary circumstances.

In The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, periwinkle is used to symbolize the enduring love between sisters Vianne and Isabelle. After Isabelle dies, Vianne plants periwinkle flowers on her grave as a symbol of their unbreakable bond.

The Color of Periwinkle

Periwinkle is not only a flower, but also a color that has its own symbolism in literature.

In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the character Jay Gatsby wears “a pink suit and a string of lavender-colored silk” to his first meeting with Daisy. The lavender color is often associated with periwinkle, which symbolizes love and memory in this novel.

Color Symbolism
Periwinkle Love, memory, perseverance, friendship, loyalty
Lavender Sentimentality, refinement, grace, elegance, love

The symbolism of periwinkle and its associated color adds layers of meaning to literary works and enhances the emotional impact of the writing.

Periwinkle in Art and Design

Periwinkle has been a popular color in art and design for centuries. It has been utilized in various ways across different mediums, from paintings to fashion. Here are some examples of the use of periwinkle in art and design:

  • Paintings: Periwinkle has been used as a background or accent color in many famous paintings, such as Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
  • Home decor: Periwinkle can add a calming effect to a space when incorporated into home decor. It can be used as an accent color in throw pillows, curtains, or even furniture pieces.
  • Fashion: Periwinkle is a popular color in the fashion industry and can be seen in clothing, accessories, and shoes. It is a versatile shade that complements many skin tones and pairs well with other colors.

Periwinkle is known for its calming effect and represents serenity and peace. It is often associated with femininity but can be utilized in various ways to add depth and emotion to a piece of art or design. The use of periwinkle can provide a sense of tranquility, making it a popular choice for many creatives.

One notable aspect of periwinkle is that it is a combination of blue and purple, two colors that represent opposite emotions. Blue is often associated with calmness and stability, while purple is connected to luxury and creativity. The combination of the two creates a unique and expressive shade that can provide different meanings based on its context.

Artists and Designers Examples of Use of Periwinkle
Vincent van Gogh “Starry Night” painting
Johannes Vermeer “Girl with a Pearl Earring” painting
Christian Dior Periwinkle dress from Spring/Summer 2021 collection
Jonathan Adler Periwinkle throw pillow from home decor line

Overall, periwinkle has become a popular color in art and design due to its expressive and calming qualities. Whether it’s in a painting or a home decor piece, the use of periwinkle can provide a sense of tranquility and bring a unique aspect to any work.

Folklore Surrounding Periwinkle

Periwinkles have been a source of inspiration for several folklore tales around the world. Let’s dive into some of them:

  • In Ireland, there is a legend that claims if you find a periwinkle with a white mark on it, it is a sign of good luck.
  • It is believed in some cultures that planting periwinkles near a house can ward off evil spirits.
  • According to Greek mythology, Periwinkle is associated with Hermes, the messenger of the gods who is also the patron of travelers and the conductor of souls to the underworld. Thus, it symbolizes tranquillity for those on a journey.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the number 6 and its significance in periwinkle folklore.

The number six has a special meaning in periwinkle folklore. According to some legends, the periwinkle has six petals, which represents the six directions – North, South, East, West, Up, and Down – in which the plant can move. The periwinkle is known for its ability to creep along the ground and grow in any direction, which is a testament to its adaptability and strength. This property of the periwinkle is believed to symbolize the power to move in every direction and overcome all obstacles, making it a popular symbol of fortitude.

Below is a table that shows how the number 6 is related to the periwinkle in various cultures:

Culture Belief
Irish The periwinkle has six petals that symbolize the six directions.
Christian During the Renaissance, the periwinkle was a symbol of the Virgin Mary, who was considered to be the “Star of the Sea.” The periwinkle’s six petals symbolize the six days of creation, with the Virgin Mary being the seventh.
Chinese The periwinkle is a symbol of harmony, as the number six is considered lucky in China.

Periwinkles have played an important role in folklore around the world, with the number six being a prominent symbol in various cultures. This little blue flower has been able to relate itself to different aspects, making it even more special and extraordinary.

Medicinal Properties of Periwinkle

Periwinkle is a plant with a long history of being used for medicinal purposes. It has been traditionally used in the treatment of various ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, and headache. In this article, we will delve deeper into its medicinal properties and benefits.

One interesting fact about periwinkle is that it contains a natural compound called vincamine which works wonders in the brain. It helps to improve blood flow to the brain and enhances cognitive function. It is useful in the treatment of age-related memory loss, stroke, and cognitive decline among others. Vincamine, alongside other compounds present in the plant, makes periwinkle a powerful nootropic.

  • Anti-cancer properties: Periwinkle contains natural compounds called alkaloids that have cancer-fighting properties. The two most important alkaloids are vincristine and vinblastine, which are used in the treatment of various cancers such as breast, lung, and leukemia. They work by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, preventing them from multiplying and spreading.
  • Blood pressure regulation: The alkaloids present in the plant also help to regulate blood pressure levels. They work by dilating blood vessels, improving blood flow, and reducing resistance in the arteries. This makes it beneficial for people with hypertension.
  • Pain relief: Periwinkle has analgesic properties that make it effective in the treatment of pain. It works by blocking pain signals in the brain and reducing inflammation. It is particularly useful in the treatment of headaches and menstrual cramps.

In addition to the above benefits, periwinkle is also useful in the treatment of diabetes, digestive problems, respiratory conditions, and skin ailments among others. It is important to note that while periwinkle is generally safe to use, it can cause side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and low blood pressure in some people. As such, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Properties of Periwinkle Benefits
Vincamine Improves blood flow to the brain and enhances cognitive function
Alkaloids Fights cancer, regulates blood pressure, relieves pain
Anti-diabetic properties Regulates blood sugar levels
Anti-inflammatory properties Reduces inflammation and swelling
Anti-bacterial properties Prevents bacterial infections
Anti-viral properties Prevents viral infections

Periwinkle is a plant with numerous medicinal benefits. Whether you’re looking to improve cognitive function, fight cancer, or regulate blood pressure, periwinkle is worth considering. However, it is important to use it responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional to ensure your safety and well-being.

Periwinkle in Aromatherapy

Periwinkle, also known as Vinca minor, is a common garden plant that has been used for its medicinal properties since ancient times. The flower has been used in a variety of remedies and has been employed as an herbal remedy for its beneficial effects on the body. It is known to symbolize a host of different things, but in aromatherapy, it has several specific meanings.

  • Relaxation: The essential oil extracted from periwinkle is often used for aromatherapy purposes due to its calming and relaxing effects. It can help to relieve stress and provide an overall feeling of peace and well-being.
  • Rejuvenation: The scent of periwinkle is also believed to have rejuvenation properties, promoting healthy skin and cell growth.
  • Clarity: Periwinkle has a fresh, clean fragrance that can enhance mental clarity and concentration.

Aside from its therapeutic properties in aromatherapy, periwinkle can also boost the appearance of your skin. The essential oil derived from periwinkle has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help to reduce inflammation and irritation, fight free radicals, and stimulate collagen production.

If you’re interested in using periwinkle for its aromatherapy benefits, you can incorporate it into your routine in a variety of ways. You can add it to a diffuser or vaporizer, mix it with a carrier oil and apply it topically, or add a few drops to a warm bath. However, it’s important to note that essential oils should always be used with caution and diluted properly before use.

Properties Benefits
Anti-inflammatory reduce inflammation and irritation
Antioxidant fight free radicals and promote healthy skin
Calming promote relaxation and reduce stress
Rejuvenating stimulate collagen production and promote healthy skin

Overall, periwinkle is a versatile herb with many different uses and benefits. If you’re looking for a natural way to promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and mental clarity, consider incorporating periwinkle into your aromatherapy routine.

Importance of Colors and Variations in Periwinkle Symbolism

Periwinkle is a beloved flower, not just for its beauty but for its rich and varied symbolism. This little flower carries different meanings in different cultures, so it can be interpreted in a variety of ways. One of the most interesting aspects of periwinkle symbolism is its use of colors and variations. These subtle differences can profoundly affect the meaning of periwinkle in different contexts.

The Importance of the Number 9 in Periwinkle Symbolism

The number 9 is often associated with periwinkle in different cultures. This is because periwinkles can come in clusters of nine flowers, which is considered a powerful number in numerology. Nine is believed to represent the completion of a cycle, which can symbolize the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. It can also represent enlightenment or spiritual growth.

  • In Christianity, 9 is the number of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues are associated with periwinkle, which represents eternal life and the resurrection of Christ.
  • In Chinese tradition, nine is considered the most auspicious number and is associated with success and good fortune. Periwinkles are often used in rituals and ceremonies to bring luck and prosperity.
  • In Hinduism, 9 is seen as a sacred number and is associated with the goddess Durga. Periwinkle garlands are used in worship and are believed to represent purity and devotion.

As we can see, the number 9 can hold different meanings in different cultures, but all of them represent power and positivity. Whether it is associated with the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Christianity, success and good fortune in Chinese tradition, or purity and devotion in Hinduism, the number 9 supports and amplifies the positive symbolism of periwinkle.

Color Meaning
Light Blue Serenity, tranquility, calmness
Dark Blue Intelligence, knowledge, wisdom
Purple Spirituality, creativity, imagination
White Purity, innocence, new beginnings
Pink Love, romance, gentleness

Another important aspect of periwinkle symbolism is the color variation. Different colors can represent different things:

  • Light blue periwinkle represents serenity, tranquility, and calmness. It is often associated with relaxation and meditation.
  • Dark blue periwinkle represents intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom. This color is associated with mental clarity and curiosity.
  • Purple periwinkle represents spirituality, creativity, and imagination. It is often associated with artistic and imaginative pursuits, as well as with meditation and spiritual growth.
  • White periwinkle represents purity, innocence, and new beginnings. It is often used in weddings, christenings, and other special occasions that celebrate new beginnings.
  • Pink periwinkle represents love, romance, and gentleness. It is often associated with femininity, tenderness, and kindness.

In conclusion, the use of color and variation in periwinkle symbolism is a fascinating topic that highlights the complexity and richness of this beloved flower. The number 9 and the different colors of periwinkle can represent different things in different cultures, but they all share a positive and powerful symbolism that makes periwinkle a meaningful and cherished flower around the world.

Periwinkle as a gift or token of affection

Periwinkles make lovely gifts and tokens of affection. Since periwinkle symbolizes undying love, a bouquet of periwinkles can make for the perfect present for your significant other, especially on romantic occasions like anniversaries or Valentine’s Day. The flowers can also be used to congratulate someone on a significant accomplishment or express gratitude to a friend or family member.

  • Periwinkle flowers can be presented on birthdays or other special occasions as a sign of love and appreciation.
  • A wreath of periwinkles can be offered at a funeral as a symbol of everlasting love and remembrance.
  • Periwinkles can be given as a gift to a new mother to express admiration and congratulations on the arrival of a child, as they symbolize the birth of new life.

Periwinkles can also be incorporated in gift-giving traditions, such as a flower bouquet for a graduation or a corsage for a prom. By adding periwinkle to your gifts, you can express the depth of your emotions and convey your feelings in a meaningful way.

Additionally, periwinkles can be used to decorate wedding ceremonies as they represent the unity, strength, and endurance of a relationship. The flowers can be added to bridal bouquets, centerpieces, or as adornments on the wedding dress or suit.

Occasion Symbolism
Wedding Unity, strength, and endurance of love
Birthday or special occasion Love and appreciation
Funeral Everlasting love and remembrance
Graduation New beginnings and growth

In summary, periwinkles can be used as a powerful expression of love and affection. Incorporating these beautiful flowers into your gift-giving traditions can deepen your emotional bonds and create lasting memories. By gifting periwinkles, you can convey your heartfelt gratitude, admiration, and love to your cherished ones.

What Does Periwinkle Symbolize? FAQs

Q: What is periwinkle?
A: Periwinkle is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Apocynaceae family. It is also commonly referred to as Vinca minor or myrtle.

Q: What does periwinkle symbolize?
A: Periwinkle symbolizes many things including love, friendship, good luck, and spirituality. In some cultures, it is also believed to have healing properties.

Q: What is the significance of periwinkle in weddings?
A: Periwinkle is often used in weddings as a symbol of eternal love between the bride and groom. It is also a representation of loyalty and commitment.

Q: What does periwinkle represent in art?
A: In art, periwinkle is often used to represent calmness, tranquility, and peacefulness. It is also associated with creativity and inspiration.

Q: Is periwinkle used in any religious traditions?
A: Yes, periwinkle is used in various religious traditions as a symbol of spirituality and enlightenment. In Christianity, it is associated with the Virgin Mary.

Q: What countries is periwinkle commonly found in?
A: Periwinkle is native to Europe, but it can be found in many countries around the world including Asia, North America, and Africa.

Q: Can periwinkle be used in cooking or medicine?
A: Yes, periwinkle has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments such as headaches, stomach problems, and even cancer. It can also be used in cooking as a flavoring agent.

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know what periwinkle symbolizes, you can appreciate this beautiful flower even more. Whether you use it in your wedding, in your art, or simply admire it in nature, periwinkle is a symbol of love, friendship, and spirituality. Thank you for reading and we hope to see you again soon!