Chaste trees, or Vitex agnus-castus, are some of the most versatile trees available. They can be grown as a large, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub or, as is more frequently done, grown as a small, 10 to 15 foot deciduous tree, a size which places them into most modern gardens today. They are disease and pest free, drought resistant and able to grow in considerable heat. But they are most noteworthy for their summer show of fragrant, panicles of blooms, which come in shades of violet, purple, white, pink and blue. These flowers are also quite attractive to butterflies and bees, which is why the Chaste tree is often planted where honey is marketed to promote quality production. One of the most spectacular of the Chaste trees is a cultivar called "Abbeville Blue". It has fragrant, clear blue flowers that bloom throughout the summer bringing the color of blue to a season when that color is rarely seen. And it has lovely silver blue foliage, long and tapering, of a delicate appearance.

"Abbeville Blue" makes a great addition to the small garden, or to that difficult spot with the harsh sun and poor soil, and it makes a nice alternative to Crape myrtles, where it offers colors no Crape myrtle has ever known.

Chaste tree likes warmth which rules out the short summer areas of the US, Canada, UK. It does very well in the warmth and humidity of the American southeast and the dry heat of the desert southwest, and it is an excellent choice for Australia.

Vitex /Chaste tree


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