Vitex, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chaste Tree, Monk's Pepper
Vitex agnus-castus

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vitex (VY-teks) (Info)
Species: agnus-castus (AG-nus KAS-tus) (Info)
Synonym:Agnus-castus robusta
Synonym:Agnus-castus vulgaris
Synonym:Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia
Synonym:Vitex integra
View this plant in a garden

Category:

Shrubs

Trees

Foliage Color:

Blue-Green

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Height:

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing:

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Pink

Medium Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Deciduous

Aromatic

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

,

Palenque,

Tuxtla Gutiérrez,

Athens, Alabama

Atmore, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Pleasant Grove, Alabama

El Mirage, Arizona

Glendale, Arizona

Goodyear, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Queen Creek, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Bigelow, Arkansas

Blytheville, Arkansas

Malvern, Arkansas

Maumelle, Arkansas

Pelsor, Arkansas (2 reports)

Canoga Park, California

Garden Grove, California

Lodi, California

Merced, California

Miranda, California

Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Ridgemark, California

Rosamond, California

Stockton, California

Denver, Colorado

Wethersfield, Connecticut

Bartow, Florida

Belleview, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Georgetown, Florida

Hawthorne, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)

Jay, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida (2 reports)

Merritt Island, Florida

Miccosukee Cpo, Florida

Milton, Florida

Niceville, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Pensacola, Florida (2 reports)

Plant City, Florida

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Sebring, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Venice, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Wauchula, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Athens, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Fayetteville, Georgia

Saint Simons Island, Georgia

Snellville, Georgia

Lowell, Indiana

Portland, Indiana

Derby, Kansas

Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Barbourville, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Smiths Grove, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana (2 reports)

Covington, Louisiana

Gramercy, Louisiana

Gretna, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)

Shreveport, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Riverdale, Maryland

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Galesburg, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan

Batesville, Mississippi

Golden, Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Leakesville, Mississippi

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Olive Branch, Mississippi

Piedmont, Missouri

Rolla, Missouri

Henderson, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)

Pahrump, Nevada

Edison, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Neptune, New Jersey

New Milford, New Jersey

Phillipsburg, New Jersey

Belen, New Mexico

Clovis, New Mexico

Farmington, New Mexico

La Luz, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Roswell, New Mexico

Spring Valley, New York

Calabash, North Carolina

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Garner, North Carolina

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Winston Salem, North Carolina (2 reports)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania

Souderton, Pennsylvania

Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Beaufort, South Carolina

Bluffton, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina (2 reports)

Florence, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Ladys Island, South Carolina

Lexington, South Carolina (2 reports)

Liberty Hill, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Arlington, Tennessee

Cordova, Tennessee

Gallatin, Tennessee

La Vergne, Tennessee

Abilene, Texas

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas (5 reports)

Beaumont, Texas

Belton, Texas

Brazoria, Texas

Breckenridge, Texas

Brownwood, Texas

Canyon Lake, Texas

Colleyville, Texas

Copperas Cove, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Dallas, Texas

De Leon, Texas

Deer Park, Texas (2 reports)

El Paso, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (5 reports)

Galveston, Texas

Georgetown, Texas

Geronimo, Texas

Hallettsville, Texas

Haltom City, Texas

Hewitt, Texas

Houston, Texas (6 reports)

Huntsville, Texas

Iredell, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Katy, Texas

Kurten, Texas

Lampasas, Texas

Leakey, Texas

Lincoln, Texas

Lipan, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Montgomery, Texas

Mount Enterprise, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

New Caney, Texas (2 reports)

Onalaska, Texas

Portland, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Rowlett, Texas

Royse City, Texas

San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)

Santo, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Stephenville, Texas

Temple, Texas

Thrall, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Trenton, Texas

Waco, Texas

Waxahachie, Texas

Ivins, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Newport News, Virginia

Pasco, Washington

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

35
positives
8
neutrals
2
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

On May 11, 2015, Shibainu from Lodi, CA wrote:

I have had both the white and purple versions for 25 years. Some receive summer water and some don't even in the 110 deg. weather of central California and often without a drop of rain for six months. I prune mine HEAVILY every winter to just a few buds on each branch. They still put on six to 10 feet of new growth each year but stay neat and bloom beautifully. This is the only care they need but without it the blooms are small and the bush unruly filled with brittle dead branchlets.

Positive

On Apr 20, 2015, Emerogork from Wethersfield, CT wrote:

I brought a spray of Vitex, branches and blue flowers, in for the office at the high school main office. I may have gotten the secretary in trouble as its leaves and bloom look a lot like Marijuana. (:

It is the last in my garden to leaf out and looks as if it is nothing more than winter kill until late May. It blooms profusely and attracts many butterflies.

Negative

On Apr 20, 2015, blumz from Trussville, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

This tree can be a beautiful tree if ... and only if ... you keep it trimmed up in standard form. Otherwise, it will grow branches all the way to the ground and become an eyesore. The other drawback to it's beauty is the fact that it blooms twice during the season - spring and late summer. The blooms must be deadheaded or they will remain on the tree and detract from the attractiveness. I had to drag out a ladder and move it all around and stretch and bend to deadhead the tree twice each season. I eventually removed the two I had in my yard. It was a hard decision because the tree was beautiful .. just way too high maintenance if it is to be kept attractive. If left to grow on it's own it becomes a big unruly mess from ground all the way up.

Positive

On Apr 21, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

Valued for its lavender-violet flowers in late summer. There are white and pinkish forms, but I much prefer the violet cultivars like 'LeCompte' and 'Montrose Purple'.

I've seen several plants here in Z6a that have been reliably wood-hardy. Responds well to hard pruning in spring. Very late to leaf out in spring, and blooms here in late summer.

In Z5 where topgrowth may be killed to the ground, it can be treated like a buddleia or a herbaceous perennial and cut to near the ground in spring. This does not impair flowering, which occurs on new growth. Vitex should be planted in spring, especially towards its northern limit of hardiness.

Reliable sources state that this plant is deer-resistant, as might be expected of a plant with fragrant foliage... read more

Positive

On Apr 20, 2014, artsathome from Arlington, TN wrote:

The Chaste tree is very easy to grow and I have grown both of mine from cuttings. The youngest is only 3 years old and has a trunk about 3 feet in diameter. It is about 20 feet high. I know I know it isn't supposed to get that big. But this one did. The parent tree the first cutting is not so big but then I have cut it back repeatedly to keep it in check. It has just gotten too big for the spot where I placed it. A word of warning to new growers. This Bush/Tree has large and invasive roots that spread widely. Do not plant it close to your house or your septic system if you have one. It will crack your foundation and completely destroy the septic tank and drains. Otherwise it is a beautiful Tree and attracts both bees and butterflies. I live north of Memphis in Arlington, Tn.

Neutral

On Nov 8, 2013, PecosPaul from San Antonio, TX wrote:

Just purchased and returned this plant. Between shopping, loading, and unloading the plant I experienced minor skin irritation (very minor burning sensation). Didn't want to risk developing a rash from future pruning so it had to go back.

Neutral

On Aug 16, 2013, Dnode from Glendale, AZ wrote:

I just today (August 16th) planted the first of two 5-gallon sized Chaste Trees here in Phoenix, Arizona (zone 9b), on the western side of the house between the house wall and the block wall surrounding the yard. It will get about 5-6 hours of full sun in that spot, with full shade the rest of the time, until the trees get taller. The soil is clay and was rock hard when I dug the hole, so I dug a bigger hole than planned and amended the soil. My expectation is that I should water less than the generic recommendations because of the clay. Here's hoping for lots of blooms and wall shade next year!

Positive

On Jun 9, 2013, MarysVitex from Tampa, FL wrote:

My family lived in Brooksville, Fl. which is about 50 miles north of Tampa. We had Vitex plants at our home there. When we moved we made the mistake of not taking them with us. It has been five years and I finally found a source to get the seeds. This is a beautiful plant and if you collect the seeds are fairly easy to start your own plants. My husband likes to have bee hives and the bees love these plants. They also make good honey.

Neutral

On Mar 30, 2013, amberlwhull from Ocala, FL wrote:

I live in Ocala, FL and this chaste tree is an amazing plant. I had one when I lived on Hayesville, NC and it did amazing as well. 5 years later the plant is 8-9 feet tall 5-7 feet wide. Great plant!

Positive

On Oct 28, 2012, merryflock from Colleyville, TX wrote:

I love my vitex and have been extremely pleased overall... but I'm trying to find out why one of my five trees is yellowing. I don't know if it's over/under-watered, wrong pH, diseased, or what. Can anyone help me?

Positive

On Sep 23, 2012, burnkl6 from Sunset, TX wrote:

I love these trees. I live in Sunset, Texas. It is hot, hot, hot but my vitex is always pretty.
I have a lot of deer and they have never bothered my vitex. I planted one inside the fence, one outside. I tend to forget to water the one outside the fence, but it does fine.
I just got a pink one, I want to find out if it behaves the same as the violet ones.

Positive

On Jun 3, 2012, jazzy1okc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

A row of these lovely small trees is growing in the median on NW Expressway between NW Classen and Pennsylvania Avenue here in OKC. I love them and so do the many people who come into the nursery to find out what they are. They grow well in the same conditions as crepe myrtle and rose of sharon and are lovely planted along driveways and fence rows. After years of lusting after them, I'm planning to plant mine as a feature tree smack dab in the middle of the backyard. I'll surround it with rosemary, lavendar, and drought hardy, near-native perennials that the bees and butterflies love, such as cone flowers, tick seed, autumn sage, etc.

Positive

On May 23, 2012, snowbirdalabama from Pleasant Grove, AL wrote:

Vitex was a beautiful and large tree in front of my home and I guess I took it for granted. Other than removing new sprouts from the bark in the spring and photographing it sometimes (it even had great bones in the winter and looked wonderful with a dusting of the rare snowstorms) I paid it no heed. Apparently it needs little care. Since losing it in the April 27th tornado last year I've really missed it. I have started a new one....just can't even imagine how many years it will take to get to be a huge tree.

Positive

On Jan 23, 2012, ptkexpres from Rolla, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I grew this wonderful shrub in Stephenville, TX when I lived there. It was such a delight all summer with its nice foliage and lavender bloom spikes covering the plant. It attracted butterflies and lots of cute bumblebees that I loved to watch working the blossoms.
When I moved to Rolla, MO I wanted to try growing vitex here and had to special order two plants from the local nursery. They are thriving here despite the snowy winters and clay soil.
This is one tough, trouble-free, and drought resistant (once established) plant that I highly recommend.

Neutral

On Jan 9, 2012, BarbaraParis from Comerio, PR (Zone 11) wrote:

I ordered some seeds. I hope they grow well down here.

Negative

On Jun 13, 2011, cactuspatch from Alamogordo, NM (Zone 7b) wrote:

This tree came up in our yard. At first I thought it was pretty and left it. But as it grew and needed pruning the sap caused rashes when pruned. It started coming up all over the place and the scent was so bad it gave us allergy headaches so we removed it. There are nicer, less stinky shrubs that are pretty and attract butterflies with none of those concerns.

Positive

On Apr 7, 2011, texas234 from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

Vitex has been wonderful! I have two of them and they are doing well. They have added color and brought lots of butterflies and bees.

Neutral

On Feb 11, 2011, countryroads from Lincoln City, OR wrote:

I have read all the wonderful comments on how butterflies, and bees love this plant, but what I need to know is do deer, and elk like it ? Or can I plant it outside my fence where they are all the time? Thanks, countryroads

Positive

On Sep 15, 2010, pennylover22 from Muskegon, MI wrote:

We have not grown this plant ourselves but did come across it here in Muskegon Michigan. The plant was 5ft high and about 5 ft wide, the bush was edging by surrounding trees and other plants, but was growing rather nicely with good bloom (which is what got our eye) it seemed to be receiving about 6 hours of sun. The owner of the plant did not know the name of it, we had to do a little research, we are going to buy one and try our luck here in ZONE 5.

Positive

On Sep 7, 2010, suentommy from Souderton, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Vitex is an easy plant to grow in this area. Mine is about 15 feet tall and blooms through a good protion of the summer. I don't have it in the best location as it is being crowded a bit by some evergreens that I am going to remove. This plant thrives on neglect and never flinches in droughts or heat waves. For someone looking for a large bush or small tree to give some needed summer color this is a great and undemanding plant.

Positive

On Jul 5, 2010, coffinitup from Pahrump, NV wrote:

Grows beautifully in our desert.
We planted them in full sun with no protection from the wind.
They start blooming in May and continue to bloom into October.
We water once a week in the Spring, and daily when the temperatures reach 90 degrees.
We rarely water them in the winter.
This is a wonderful tree, and the bees love them.

Positive

On Apr 29, 2009, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attractive, tough, adaptable. Here it occasionally gets tricked by late frosts (as it was this spring, with tender new growth damaged by a freeze), but so do some of the native plants. I find the seeds insipid, at least the ones from my shrub, but I suppose they could be used as a substitute for pepper if one were really desperate for one. Some years I get several flushes of bloom over the growing season. It really seems to thrive in this climate, seasonal droughts, high humidity, low humidity, sudden frosts after weeks of warmth, the whole gamut.

Positive

On Aug 17, 2008, leeflea51 from Golden, MS (Zone 7a) wrote:

i've had this bush/tree for about 7-8yrs. and am very impressed each summer when it blooms. It's a prodigious bloomer, with spires of dark lavender blooms. If the faded blooms are removed, often later in the Summer/early Fall, another round of blooms can occur. It is planted in full sun and I seldomly give it supplemental watering. Each Spring, I give it Miracle-Grow feeding of 1TBSP per gallon of water. I've never seen a need for more. For me, it has proven to be drought-tolerant. It attracts bumble bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Positive

On Jun 22, 2008, rikkyb from Phillipsburg, NJ wrote:

I planted this shrub about five years ago to replace an ageing lilac. In that time it has grown from a small one foot high plant into a sprawling 12 foot high and nearly as wide giant. Great screen for my back porch! There is only minimal winter dieback, and it more than makes up for it each summer with 2 feet of new growth. The flowers are great at a time when the spring flowers have finished and only my annuals are blooming. I'm very happy with this shrub.

Positive

On May 27, 2008, threegardeners from North Augusta, ON wrote:

I received seeds last summer and just for the experiment grew them out and planted them in my Zone 5a garden. I planted them all in different areas of the yard, even put one in a raised bed.

This spring I was amazed to find they all survived our winter!!
Winter lows reached -32C (-26F)

Can't wait for them to get old enough to bloom!!

Positive

On Sep 26, 2007, svplantingfool from South Venice, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Grows very nicely here, flowers on and off from spring until fall. Produces many berries, but haven't seen any self-seeding yet.

Positive

On Aug 27, 2007, GallatinGardens from Gallatin, TN wrote:

The Vitex is surviving the 3-week, 100 degree heat/drought here in Middle TN, and blooming. I hardly ever water it. I bought it last year for $2 at Lowe's clearance.

I love its vigorous, rounded shape and aroma.

Neutral

On Aug 7, 2007, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Vitex is showy when flowering, even if it doesn't last long. It is a tough plant that will last many years. The only downside is it attracts lots of bees, so if you or a family member is allergic I wouldn't recommend it.

Positive

On Jul 27, 2007, xtrucker from Wellfleet, MA wrote:

We have had this tree for 5 years. It blooms in late July thru early fall. We are in zone 6 (MA) and never have had serious die back - just some of the branches. It is grown in an the open area and gets some shade and has no protection from winds. It is beautiful in bloom but is very, very late to leaf out. I know of 5 other Vitex in the area and they all survive our winters which can get and stay below 0* for days. I have seen 2 cut to the ground and come back even more beautiful.

Neutral

On Jun 30, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My poor Vitex is underneath vines and still a couple of branches are peeking out to get some sun. I'm going to get out there to save it.

25 states!

Neutral

On Dec 15, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Vitex, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chaste Tree, Monk's Pepper Vitex agnus-castus is Naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Positive

On Aug 29, 2006, trackinsand from mid central, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

this is my first year for this tree. i bought 6 of them online from an herb supplier this spring; they were small plants that i kept potted until two months ago. since putting them in ground, they are growing like weeds and blooming. i know they can take drought, but the one i planted by the birdbath is 5' tall already, so it likes the extra water. has anyone experienced hornworms on theirs? i pulled 3 of the nasty buggers off of one tree today. nothing on the others, but they totally stripped the one tree. i'm sure it will live, i just didn't realize they ate plants in the verbena family.

Positive

On Apr 7, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love Vitex. Very drought tolerant, and such a nice smell. Vivid periwinkle (or sometimes bright pink or white) flowers that the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds flock to. I basically treat it like a crepe myrtle; it can either be allowed to grow as a bush or be shaped as a single or multitrunked smallish-medium tree. Or as someone else mentioned, it can also be whacked down to ground level each year and will resprout.

Positive

On Feb 23, 2006, scottoblotto from Lowell, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is a lot tougher than given credit for. I have grown mine for the last three years, and it has survived the unpredictable Chicago winters with no problems. No dieback for me was evident; I do have it planted on a warm, south wall. It also survived being dug and moved to Indiana last year, withstanding a terrible drought and high temperatures.

Positive

On Apr 1, 2005, nick89 from Tallahassee, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Chaste tree thrives here in Alabama. It is very tough, withstanding heat, humidity, and neglect. Another great thing is fast growth and spectacular flowers. The leaves have a spicy scent. It can get quite large with and there are a number of old specimens in my area.

Positive

On Oct 10, 2004, gjames from Littleton, CO wrote:

I live in Denver Colorado.My wife and i picked up two of these plants at our local garden center,the only two they had,We have had them for only one month,so far so good.Will keep informed on there progress.If any one else in a zone 5 has tryed these plants id love to hear from you.

Positive

On Jul 5, 2004, Suen from Leakey, TX wrote:

Last year we planted a long row of chaste trees and we love it. Lots of bee and butterfly action. Not much known about it in this area, but I notice people are waking up to this interesting plant. Noticed in Uvalde paper that the local gardening club had a speaker on "chaste trees." We're looking forward to this wonderful screen from the road. Will either leave them alone or trim bottoms to encourage them to grow into trees. My shrub is primarily 4-5 feet tall.

Positive

On Jun 28, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Vitex as an herbal remedy works for me! In a sense, it gave me my life back.

Positive

On Jun 11, 2004, wm from Hagerstown, MD wrote:

Overwinters well in Hagerstown MD.
Bushes ~10 ft tall have light blue flowers with shallow cup
which makes excellent bee forage. The dark purple variety has too deep a cup for bees to work. Bloom is late summer when bee forage is scarce and the bushes are covered with bees. Habit straggles more than a lilac. Have started overwintered seeds in plastic paper cups, slow germination.

Positive

On May 30, 2004, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Here in Zone 6 the Vitex sometimes dies down to the ground. This year it did not have any dieback at all. It is one of the very last shrubs to leaf out in spring. Mine is about 5 feet tall now, and 4 feet across. I got it on clearance at Walmart about 4 years ago. Bees and butterflies love it!

Positive

On May 24, 2004, Digitalis from New Orleans, LA wrote:

Vitex is a wonderful tree simply because of its beauty! Here in hot and humid New Orleans it's planted around government buildings and in neutral grounds instead of lilacs, for which it is often mistaken.
Not only is vitex great as an ornamental, but it's also a useful herb. The leaves and blossoms create a slightly sour tea that sooths menstrual and PMS symptoms and consuming the berries promotes a healthy cycle. Men, however, should avoid consuming the plant in any way, as it may lower libido and possibly promote impotence because of the naturally-occuring estrogen-like hormones produced by the plant.

Positive

On Feb 3, 2004, vegasgardener from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

Vitex grows extremely well in Las Vegas, where summer temperatures often exceed 110F. They like full sun here, and don't require much water.

Positive

On Sep 8, 2003, AusTXpropagater from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Vitex, while not native to Texas, thrives here in our hellishly hot summers and mild (with occasional ice storms) winters. In Austin (zone 8b, ~22" precip./year) the Highway Department plants it along IH-35 and no one but God waters it. For some bizarre reason, the landscrapers randomly take a chainsaw to it at ground level -- it promptly returns from dozens of vigorous basal shoots. I have not noticed it spreading noxiously from seed or suckers.

With some difficulty, I have grown it from seed. In a batch of seedlings (~30), several plants produced vaguely pink and white blossoms -- in addition to the usual mauve to deep violet, from the same parent plant. Racemes (floral clusters) on mine usually grow to 8-10". Some cultivars (name unknown) seen in commercial planti... read more

Positive

On Mar 12, 2003, sclarke from Macungie, PA wrote:

My experience with this plant has been as an extract in pill form, for menstrual cramps. Suffice to say, this plant is indeed fabulous for reducing pain from cramping but I do not know what dosage every woman in particular may need. It probably varies and I'm sure harm could come if one takes too much.

Positive

On Oct 19, 2002, CoyoteSpirit from Citrus Heights, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have found this tree to be very beautiful when it blooms, providing a breath-taking sea of bright blue/purple-ish flowers, and in the Fall with unusual seed-heads and purple-tinted foliage. It's drought-tolerant and doesn't even flinch in 115*(F) heat spells!

It doesnt like having its roots messed with, so be careful about cultivating around it. I keep a thick layer of wood bark mulch around it to keep the weeds away. All in all this plant is great and it takes very little care to keep it happy.