This section is from the book "Wayside And Woodland Blossoms", by Edward Step. Also available from Amazon: Wayside And Woodland Blossoms: A Guide To British Wild-Flowers.
The Lesser Periwinkle is perhaps more familiarly known as a garden plant than as a wild-flower, and the former would appear to be its true character. It is now truly wild, in the Southern English counties at least, having probably been introduced by man at an early date (Chaucer mentions "fresh pervinke rich of hew"), and taken care to keep the foothold thus obtained. Its favourite position is a woodland bank, which it thickly covers with its dark evergreen leaves. Hooker ("Students' Flora," p. 268) describes the flowering stems as short and erect, and the peduncles not so long as the diameter of the corolla. As a matter of fact, the long trailing and rooting stems also bear flowers, and the peduncles vary in length from ¼ to 2 inches.
Vinca minor. - Apocyneae. -
The Greater Periwinkle (Vinca major) is also naturalized in places. It is much larger in every respect than V. minor. The name of the genus is supposed to have been derived from the Latin Vincio, to bind or connect, in allusion to the manner in which its trailing stems thrust down a root from every node.