Elms Environmental Education Center

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The Periwinkle Plant (Vinca major) October 2011

Periwinkle (also called myrtle) is an evergreen trailing vine which spreads along the ground and roots along the stems to form dense masses of groundcover. It was introduced to North America in the 1700s. Although beautiful, it displaces native plants that are vital to the ecology of this area.

In an effort to remove non-native invasive species, students hand pulled periwinkle plants found growing in a large patch on Elms property. It is a lesson on the difficulty of removing invasive species once they are established. Eliminating this species will require a lot of effort and many follow-up visits.


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The Elms Environmental Education Center is the home of Environmental Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools.

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