The History Of Periwinkle Color


Periwinkle is a combintion of the blue and violet color. It was named from the lesser periwinkle or myrtle herb (Vinca minor), which has flowers of the same hue.

Periwinkle is same as lavender blue and light blue violet. In the Munsell color system, it is considered a pale shade of purple-blue or a “pastel purple-blue.”

The English language officially recognized periwinkle as a color name in 1922.

History of periwinkle:

The periwinkle color was created from the periwinkle plant:

Periwinkle flower was once called the “Flower of Death” due to three reasons. Firstly, periwinkle was used by parents to decorate the graves of their dead children. Additionally, according to legend, children who were unlucky to the gallows (anything that restricts one’s freedom) would wear periwinkle-colored headbands as they neared their end. Lastly, because periwinkle is poisonous.Surprisingly, the periwinkle has more positive meaning compared to its previous connection with death.

Periwinkle was introduced in English language in the early 1900s:

However, artists had already been using periwinkle for some time. The term “periwinkle” is a modern word for a color that has been around for ages. Nature also offers inspiration with the periwinkle flower and a snail known as the common periwinkle.

Periwinkle color has taken on a significance that resonates with our emotions:

In the 1900s, the color periwinkle got popularity.But today, periwinkle is the official color for ribbons that symbolize esophageal and stomach cancer, as well as it raised awareness for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Similar to how chemotherapy uses something poisonous for healing, periwinkle’s association with its toxic qualities has been replaced with a symbol of hope and recovery. Additionally, periwinkle was chosen as the Pantone 2022 Color of the Year and remains influential in interior design.

Across different cultures, the periwinkle holds diverse meanings:

The flower has many names associated with the periwinkle color:

In Italy, Periwinkle was first called the “Flower of Death” (fiore di morte). However, its everlasting nature led to a second interpretation of immortality in Italy and Europe. Nowadays, Periwinkle is even grown in cemeteries across the United States. It has also been referred to as Sorcerer’s Violet or Fairy’s Paintbrush.

Periwinkle color holds significance in religious practices:

The color periwinkle is also present in religion. In Christianity, periwinkle is associated with chastity. Christian artwork depicting the Virgin Mary often includes the periwinkle flower. Catholicism, in particular, uses periwinkle as a symbol of purity and unconditional love. Stained glass displays frequently incorporate periwinkle to convey these meanings. Additionally, periwinkle flowers are often placed at the base of statues of the Virgin Mary.

The use of periwinkle color in art and literature is quite significant:

Periwinkle color has been present in various forms of art and literature, not just religious art. Over time, it has held different meanings. Initially, in medieval England, the phrase “Crowned one with laurel leaves hye on his head set other with pervink (periwinkle) made for the giblet” conveyed a somber connotation. However, during the Symbolists and Impressionists movements in the 1800s, periwinkle color was utilized in their tranquil and mystical paintings, reflecting the color’s more optimistic associations in modern times.


In conclusion, I will shortly tell you about periwinkle. Periwinkle, derived from the flower, is a soft indigo hue. It lies between blue and purple on the color wheel, with a hex code of #CCCCFF. Periwinkle symbolizes tranquility, peace, the winter season, and icy elements.

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