Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Vitex, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chaste Tree, Monk's Pepper
Vitex agnus-castus 'Lavender Lady'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vitex (VY-teks) (Info)
Species: agnus-castus (AG-nus KAS-tus) (Info)
Cultivar: Lavender Lady

Synonym:Agnus-castus robusta
Synonym:Agnus-castus vulgaris
Synonym:Vitex agnus
Synonym:Vitex hybrida
Synonym:Vitex integra

18 members have or want this plant for trade.


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral bev1001 On May 11, 2012, bev1001 from Alto, NM wrote:

I lived in the Houston area most of my life but have moved to Alto, NM and the gardening is totally different which I am learning. I have a lot of deer and elk; therefore, I plant deer resistant plants. I love the vitex tree. Planted it many times in my gardens in Houston. I want to purchase one and try it in zone 4. Hopefully, it will survive. I am pretty sure that the deer will not bother it, but the winter and the altitude may hurt it.

Positive Jimenez_Garden On Oct 20, 2010, Jimenez_Garden from Jessup, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

A small shrub or tree bearing fingered aromatic leaves (the aroma resembles sage) and panicles of purple blooms in the spring. The blooms are followed by berries containing small seeds. Used in medieval times by Catholic monks to repress sexual urges, the effects of the plant are also said to produce the opposite results. Long used as a balancer for female hormones, it is said to ease the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome and menopause. Hardy to -10F (-23.3C); height: 20ft.

Positive Txplantlady On Jul 5, 2010, Txplantlady from Round Rock, TX wrote:

This plant is a power house bloomer for me. It sits off of the edge of my back porch which is a foot tall so I can actally reach a great deal of it for trimming so I can get new flushes of fresh bloom. Of course it is an 8 year old plant so I have to use a pole pruner to reach the high up stuff and I can never get it all. But I get enough to actaully get nice new flushes all summer, a lot more bloom than I would get if I didn't do that. I try to keep the bottom 4 to 5' of multi trunk cleaned so you can see it (I love the look of the wood as well as the leaves and flowers). It also allows me to get my lawn tractor under the edge of it to mow the grass that's there. The thing always looks good. It even gives me a little shade on the edge of the porch for my more sensitive potted plants. A fast grower and good bloomer. I never furtilize it and it survives on the water it gets that runs off the porch from my potted plants and any thing it gets from the little bit we water the grass as well as the rain and that's it. What a power house plant for texas if you have the room, cuz it wants to spread it branches.

Positive Rebel65 On May 3, 2010, Rebel65 from San Antonio, TX wrote:

This tree was growing, infact full grown when I moved here in SA, TX in 1973. It is very hardy and still blooms each year. Uses very little watering even through the worst drought we can remember here. It made it and bloomed even though not as profusely as usual. We tried to take care of it through heavy water restrictions.

Back in 1974 I asked my Husbands Grandmother what it was, she said that when they were children out in the country near Austin TX, when you needed a heal for their shoes before the cobbler made his yearly rounds they used it for the bottom and heals of their shoes until the cobbler came by. Their-for they called it a Shoemake Tree. I never forgot it and still refer to it sometimes as that. I never knew the correct name until now. When it blooms it is very sweet smelling, and makes quite a show with normal watering. A few years ago I was told it was a Lavender tree now I will know the technical name.


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

, (3 reports)
Monroeville, Alabama
Tolleson, Arizona
Amesti, California
Campbell, California
Huntington Beach, California
Pensacola, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Douglas, Georgia
Townsend, Georgia
Barbourville, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Wayland, Massachusetts
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Fairacres, New Mexico
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Manning, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Abilene, Texas
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Belton, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Houston, Texas (2 reports)
Katy, Texas
Kingsland, Texas
Kurten, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Lewisville, Texas
Marble Falls, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
Portland, Texas
San Angelo, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (2 reports)
Snook, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Tyler, Texas
Deltaville, Virginia

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