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Genus Vitex

Vitex is a large, widespread genus of 250 species of trees and shrubs from mainly tropical regions. Palmate leaves are fully divided and quite ornamental in some species. 2-lipped, tubular flowers are borne at the end of stems in panicles, cymes, or racemes. Use in a shrub border, against a wall, or in a greenhouse.
Noteworthy characteristics: Adaptable to most soils. Palmate leaves and 2-lipped flowers.
Care: Tolerant of any well-drained soil in full sun.
Propagation: Propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, or sow seed at 43° to 54°F in spring or fall.
Problems: Leaf spot, root rot, and scale insects sometimes cause problems.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Vitex

no image available Vitex agnus-castus
(Chaste tree, Monk's pepper)
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

This small tree boasts an upright, spreading form and finely dissected gray-green foliage. Its spiky lilac-blue flowers appear from June through September; bloom can be prolonged by deadheading. Chaste tree can grow to 20 feet in southern climates, but in colder areas only 8 to 10 feet.

Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia
(Chaste tree)
(2 user reviews)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Chaste tree is a southern favorite beginning to gain favor across the country. Whether left to grow as a large, multistemmed shrub or cut back annually for a more compact look, this selection is a winner. Fine, lacy leaves are glossy and green. Bright blue flower panicles begin to form in early summer and continue through the heat of the season and into fall. This is a reasonably cold-hardy, deer-resistant woody plant, and while V. agnus-castus is typically considered a Zone 7 plant, the variety latifolia can be grown in Zone 6 and even in southern areas of Zone 5.