Content Detail

The chaste tree, which is really a shrub, is a good choice for the shrub border or as a specimen. The upright clusters of lavender-blue, summer-blooming flowers and aromatic gray-green leaves attract butterflies. In northern regions, chaste tree should be cut to ground in early spring.

  • Family (English) Verbena
  • Family (botanic) Verbenaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional drought, Road salt
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Blue, Purple
  • Shape or form Oval, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast

More Information

Size and Form

Often considered a sub-shrub in northern climates. May reach 8 to 10 feet high and wide.

Native Geographic Location and Habitat

Native to southern Europe and western Asia.

Attracts Birds, Butterflies, and Pollinators

Birds and butterflies are attracted to flowers.

Bark Color and Texture

Twiggy gray stems can get woody and blocky in appearance.

Leaf Arrangement, Size, Shape, and Texture

Leaves are gray-green in color, opposite, 2 to 4 inches long, elliptical, and palmately compound with 5 to 9 leaflets radiating from a central stalk.

Flower Arrangement, Shape, and Size

Purple to lavender, 3 to 6 inch long flower spikes are borne at the tips of branches.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Chaste tree has a small, persistent drupe which is not showy.

Care Knowledge

Plant Care

Plants require well-drained soil in full sun. They are marginally hardy and tops will die back to the ground in cold winters. Cut plants to the ground in early spring for best flowering as it flowers on new wood. 

List of Pests, Diseases, and Tolerances

Leaf spots and root rots occur in overly moist soils. They are salt tolerant.


Blue Diddley® chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘SMVACCBD’)

A dwarf chaste tree reaching 3 to 6 feet high, with lavender-blue spikes. It is good for containers.

Blue Puffball™ chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-II’)

A First Editions® dwarf, 3 feet high and wide, compact shrub with medium green foliage and deep blue fragrant flower spikes.

Delta Blues™ chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus ‘PIIVAC-I’)

An 8 to 10 feet high and wide cultivar with an upright-spreading to rounded habit, dark, purplish-blue flowers and small shiny, reddish fruit.


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