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Vitex agnus-castus /Vitex

Vitex agnus-castus  / Vitex agnus-castus
Vitex coming into bloom in early summer
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Vitex coming into bloom in early summer

Close-up view of floral spikes and highly aromatic foliage

Large old specimen tree forms once grew in New Orleans neighborhoods before hurricane Katrina

Specimen in full bloom in early summer

Tall, prominent floral spikes on a healthy specimen

Lighter blue flowering cultivar with marijuana-like foliage

Specimen tree in a garden setting

In winter

Atypical use along a walk in the Dallas Arboretum in winter

Mature specimen at entry to a residential site

Newer selections have lavender-blue color

Close-up of newer selection with lavender-blue flower color

A mature planting

An allee of trees at the Birmingham Botanical Garden

Old trunks

Each plant has a different form and varying number of trunks

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Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus
Common Name: Vitex
Plant Type: Deciduous
Leaf Type: Broadleaf
Hardiness Zone: 7, 8, 9 Determine Your Zone
Height: 10-15 feet
Spread: 5 - 10 feet
Bloom time: Summer
Flower color: White, Blue, Purple
Fruit present: Fall, Winter
Fruit color: Brown
Light Exposure: Sun
Drainage: Well drained, Moist,
Rate of Growth: Fast
Water Requirement: Medium
Maintenance Level: Medium
Susceptible to insects
and diseases:
Landscape Categories: Deer Resistant-Tolerant Plants
Plants for Xeriscapes
Plants That Attract Butterflies
Comments: This is a very large growing shrub that produces palm-shaped, marijuana-like foliage and spikes of striking flowers, usually violet colored although other colors can include white, pink and blue cultivars. It blooms at a time when few other shrubs are in flower. Vitex probably blooms best and lasts longer if there is a slight drought stress. Plants become tall and thin if the soil is too moist and fertile. This plant is prone to have terrible fungal leaf spot disease that defoliates it during the summer. Always provide well drained soil and full sunlight and place plants where there is good air circulation to keep the leaf disease problem to a minimum.