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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
  • 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

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 grey stems can get woody and blocky in appearance

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Leaves are  gray-green in color, opposite, 2 to 4 inches long, elliptical, 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.

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® Chastetree (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™ Chastetree (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™ Chastetree (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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