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VITEX agnus-castus 'Montrose Purple'

Image of Vitex agnus-castus 'Montrose Purple'

David L. Morgan

Family

Verbenaceae

Botanical Name

VITEX agnus-castus 'Montrose Purple'

Plant Common Name

Chastetree, Montrose Purple Chastetree

General Description

Chastetree is a fast-growing, small tree or large shrub native to southern Europe and western Asia. Distinguished by its glorious spires of small, fragrant, violet-purple flowers that appear from summer to autumn, 'Montrose Purple' is one of the prettier color selections for the garden. Its blooms are also larger than those of wild-type Vitex agnus-castus and plants are known to bloom with vigor well into fall. Highly ornamental, palmate (hand-shaped), gray-green leaves with silvery undersides look great all season and maintain more silver hues if plants are grown in drier locations. The leaves are also aromatic when crushed.

Place chastetree in a sunny location with well-drained soil. It thrives in heat and blooms on new growth from the current season, so it can be pruned in spring if need be. In warm regions, it can be shaped into a small, single or multi-trunked tree. In cooler zones, chastetree grows as a modest-sized perennial shrub because it gets knocked back by extreme cold. Dead wood should be pruned off of cold damaged plants in spring to allow them to rejuvenate.

In climates with milder winters, Vitex agnus-castus will self-sow and can be invasive.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    8'-15' / 2.4m - 4.6m

  • Width

    12'-18' / 3.7m - 5.5m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Europe, Mediterranean, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    Yes

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes