lilac chastetree
Vitex agnus-castus

Secondary Names:

Leaf Type: Deciduous
Texas Native:
Tree Description:

A large shrub or small landscape tree to 15 feet tall, often multi-trunked, twisted, with a spreading crown.

Range/Site Description:

Native to Europe and Asia, it prefers well-drained soils of any texture, but performs poorly on wet sites. Tolerates heat and alkaline soils well.


Blue-green, compound, opposite, with 5 to 7 leaflets arranged palmately, each leaflet 1" to 3" long on a short stalk.


Dense, slender, 6" long spikes of white or lavender flowers appear in late spring and summer above the foliage.


Brown to black, fleshy fruits dry into short clusters and persist through winter.


Gray, smooth, devloping into irregular blocks.


Flowers produce excellent honey; seeds once used as a sedative, the leaves for medicinal use. Sold as a landscape tree in nurseries.

Similar Species:

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) has simple leaves and serrated leaf edges.

Interesting Facts:

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