Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus
Full Grown Size: 10’-15’
Lifespan: Between: 15 to 20 years
Soil conditions: Well-draining soil — either acidic or alkaline.
Light requirements: Full Sun
Water requirements: Medium, once established, Vitex requires only a little supplemental water every week or two depending on rainfall.
USDA Zones: Hardiness Zones 5-9.
The Vitex is one of about 250 different members of the Lamiaceae family. Among different regions, you may see these trees go by different names such as the Chaste Tree.
While these trees are native to subtropic and tropic regions, they are also found in temperate regions of Eurasia and New Zealand. There are about 18 species that are known to be cultivated, most of which serve as ornamentals. There are however, a few species which are harvested for lumber. Some even use the limbs of the Vitex for basket weaving, as the limbs are incredibly flexible. According to a few sources, the Vitex may even be used medicinally and for repelling nasty mosquitos.
Vitex was named by Linnaeus in Species Plantarum in the year 1753. It is derived from latin vieo, meaning to weave or tie up. Vitex is a genus of shrubs and trees, from 1 to 35 meters tall. Some species have white bark that is characteristically furrowed. Leaves are opposite, usually compound.