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A tender, perennial plant which grows as a herb or subshrub sprawling along the ground or standing erect (30 cm to 1 m in height). Like many other plants in the Apocynaceae family, the sap is a milky latex.
On sand and limestone soils in woodland, forest, grassland, and disturbed areas. Sometimes grow on roadside.
In traditional medicine, Madagascar periwinkle has been used to treat a variety of ailments in Madagascar as well as in other parts of the world where the plant has naturalised.