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Vitex negundo

Common name chastetree
Family lamiaceae
Life cycle shrub (Z6-10)
Flowers blue (summer)
Size see comments
Light sun-shade
Cultural notes not fussy, drought-tolerant
From seed In my experience, this germinates at room temperature after one month cold treatment.
Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensmid-October

In our garden, this has so far been a die-back shrub - in mid-spring, foliage will re-emerge from low on the woody stems, but the top parts of the stems don't make it through winter. That means that, even though sources say it gets 10-20 ft tall, for us it doesn't grow much bigger than 5 ft. Botanists haven't decided whether this belongs in lamiaceae or verbenaceae. The foliage, which bears some resemblance to marijuana, is good for a double-take by those who are attuned to such things. I thought this was Vitex agnus-castus, until a seed trader pointed out that the serrated leaf margins are typical of V. negundo.

Vitex negundo
chastetree flower closeup
This is a good example of how close-up photos show details usually missed during casual inspection - the flower clusters look blue, but the individual flowers have more intricate coloring

Vitex negundo
Happily and plentifully self-sows into the dry streambed underneath the mama tree

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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PlantLinks to other web pages about Vitex negundo

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '01 trade. Sowed to pot outside in September '01, yielded 2 seedlings in May '02
  2. Same seed as above. Baggy 35F(4w) - 70F (40%G, 8-16d)
  3. Seed from '04 garden. Baggy 35F (31d) - 70F (40%G, 3-20d)

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