Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don., famil y Apocynaceae is one of the most important medicinal and ornamental plant.
Periwinkle is grown commercially for its medicinal uses in different countries. It has medicinal value owing to the presence of alkaloids such as ajamalicine, serpentine and reserpine, which are well known for their hypotensive and antispasmodic properties.
The anti-cancer principles namely vincristine and vinblastine are also produced from periwinkle.
Periwinkle is also cultivated as an ornamental plant almost throughout the tropical and subtropical world and used in plant pathology as an experimental host for phytoplasmas.
In recent years many periwinkle plants can be seen in parks and gardens in many locations in Bulgaria. Some of them have symptoms of phytoplasma infection.
The diagnosis of the disease is based on symptoms of the plants and later on confirmed by electron microscopy method.