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 region, chaste tree should be cut to ground in early spring.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil,
- Road salt
Season of Interest:
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
Often considered a sub-shrub in northern climates.
May reach 8 to 10 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Plants require well-drained soil in full sun.
Marginally hardy. In cold winters tops will die back to the ground.
Plants flower on new wood developed in the spring. Cut plant to the ground in early spring for best flowering.
Disease, pests, and problems
Leaf spots and root rots occur in too wet soils.
Native geographic location and habitat
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
Opposite; 2 to 4 inches long,elliptical, palmately compound leaves with 5 to 9 lealfets radiating from a central stalk; gray-green in color
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Purple to lavender, 3 to 6 inch long flower spikes at tips of branches
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
A small persistent drupe; not showy
Cultivars and their differences
Blue Diddley® Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus 'SMVACCBD'): A dwarf chaste tree reaching 3 to 6 feet high; laveder-blue spikes; 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; deep blue fragrant flower spikes.
Delta Blues™ Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus 'PIIVAC-I'): An 8 to 10 feet high and wide, upright-spreading to rounded habit; dark, purplish-blue flowers and small shiny, reddish fruit.