Brought Back from the Past

Shane Simpson of Keller took this fabulous photo of his own vitex. Shared with his permission. Click image for larger view.

Every year people ask me about this beautiful big shrub/small tree. I love this plant. It was common in College Station when I was a kid, and now it’s becoming common again all across Texas. This is its season.

Basic facts to succeed…

Vitex makes attractive anchoring shrub in large landscape.

Scientific name: Vitex agnus-castus.
Common name: Vitex, lilac chaste tree. Sadly, some people insist on calling it ‘Texas lilac,’ even though it’s not related to lilacs and doesn’t have their aroma.
Hardiness Zone: 6-9 (almost all of Texas).
Mature size: 10-12 ft. tall and wide.

Continued Below

Vitex thrives even in hot Lajitas in the Big Bend Country of Southwest Texas.

Blooms late spring into early summer. In South Texas may produce a second round of flowers.
Flower colors: Predominantly the lavender-blue types, but pink- and white-flowering forms are also sold.

I’ve only seen a handful of pink vitex in my travels. This bumblebee was having a feast on a late fall round of blooms.

Lighting requirements: Full sun.
Soil preferences: Any, so long as drainage is good.

Vitex is used in home and commercial landscapes alike, as shown in this photo posted on my Facebook page a year or two ago.

Best landscape uses: As anchor in wide perennial beds or as focal points 10 or 12 feet out from corners of house.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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