'Illumination' Information

Vinca minor 'Illumination' is a truly unique variegated vinca, something new for the species. This page provides additional information about 'Illumination.'



'Illumination' was discovered in 1995 by Christy Hensler of The Rock Garden, a small retail nursery in Newport, Washington. Hensler's focus is on hybridizing plants, especially interspecific and interseries hybrids of iris and colored-leafed plants. See our Meet the Breeder page for more information.

'Illumination' is a PlantHaven, Inc. introduction. PlantHaven represents plant breeders worldwide by trialing, introducing and managing outstanding new plant varieties in the North American market. It was founded in 1997 by Geoff and Maureen Needham and is based in Santa Barbara, California.


'Illumination' is protected by US Plant Patent: #12,132. Propagation is prohibited without a license.


'Illumination' is now available for wholesale sales to the industry from select licensees. The total number of propagation licenses available has been established. Sales to retailers and landscapers throughout North America are available from licensed nurseries. See the Source List for contact information.



What makes 'Illumination' so unique? The foliage, for one. 'Illumination' sports golden centers with green margins. Foliage starts out chartreuse, turns rich golden and finally matures to a cream color. This variegation is unlike any other V. minor. Second, the stems add color as well. As the stems mature throughout the season, they turn a delightful pinkish-red. And, blue flowers contrast nicely with the gold-and-green foliage and appear in spring. 'Illumination' flowers throughout the season, in addition to the flush of spring blooms. The plant's habit is of an indeterminate vine with some upright growth; it shows a vigorous growth habit. And, 'Illumination' has no known pest or disease problems.


We have reports that 'Illumination' has proved hardy into USDA Zone 4. The breeder, Christy Hensler, said she observed the plant over its first winter at minus 29 F, and it performed just fine. As with any other plant, be sure you understand your local microclimate and judge suitability accordingly.

Plant Uses

'Illumination' is a plant as versatile as its appearance is stunning. It can be used as a specimen groundcover, especially in partial shade to shady borders; in rock gardens; trailing over brick or stone walls; or in mixed containers and hanging baskets. The trailing habit, fast growth and bright foliage make for an excellent container accent plant, and it's hardy so it can overwinter in most areas. It's sure to brighten any landscape, especially shady areas.

In trials, 'Illumination' performed exceptionally well in a number of light, moisture and soil conditions. In the garden landscape, plant 'Illumination' in sun or shade in reasonably fertile, moist but well-drained soils. Best foliage colors are observed in shade or partial shade situations. Excessive sunlight in hot, dry areas may wash out the color or scorch leaves if extreme.

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Santa Barbara, CA 93130-3056
E-mail Us: newplants@planthaven.com

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