Plant of the Month – August

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Chaste Tree
Vitex agnus-castus

Chaste Tree offers abundant, fragrant lavender flowers in summer, and a magnet for butterflies, bees, and birds.

Chaste Tree offers abundant lavender flowers in summer, and draws butterflies, bees, and birds to its fragrant blossoms.

 

  • Plant Form: Deciduous shrub
  • Water Use: Low
  • Mature Size: 15-25 ft. tall & wide
  • Exposure: Full Sun
  • Bloom Time: Summer (June – August)
  • Native to: S. Europe, W. Asia
  • Hardiness: Cold hardy to 10°F

Chaste Tree is a beautiful large shrub or small tree with a profusion of fragrant lavender flowers in summer that attract butterflies, bees, and birds. Deep green leaves are divided into 5-7 lace-like leaflets, and the foliage is aromatic. Medieval legends tell of monks grinding the seeds of Chaste Tree (also called Monk’s Pepper) to use like pepper to help them maintain their vows of chastity. Chaste Tree is heat and drought tolerant, pest resistant, and very easy to grow. Stimulate a second flush of flowers in late summer by removing spent flower spikes before they seed. Regularly prune all dead wood and lower limbs in winter to produce an attractive multi-trunked tree. This broad, spreading plant can be trained to make a screen, hedge, or border when in rows, or used singly as a multi-trunked shrub or small specimen tree. Can also be grown in containers.

Check out our  “Garden Tasks” for August