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Vitex

Chaste Tree

Deciduous, Shrubs, Trees

These plants have handsome foliage and clustered flowers, and prefer well-drained soil. They can take drought and heat, are pest-free, and attract butterflies and honeybees.

Vitex agnus-castus
Vitex agnus-castus

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Vitex agnus-castus

Deciduous shrub or small tree. In warmest parts of the range, grows fast to make a tree to 25 ft. tall and wide, typically with multiple trunks; train high to make a good small shade tree. In colder areas, growth is slower and the ultimate size is smaller—to 8–10 ft. tall and wide. Where it usually freezes to the ground in winter, it is a shrubby perennial about 3–5 ft. tall and wide.

Aromatic leaves are divided fanwise into five to seven narrow, 2–6-in.-long leaflets, grayish green above, gray beneath. No real fall color. Blooms summer to fall; small, fragrant lavender-blue flowers are held in 6–12-in. spikes at branch ends and in leaf joints. Prefers well-drained soil.

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