Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Arabian Lilac
Vitex trifolia 'Purpurea'

Family: Lamiaceae (lay-mee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vitex (VY-teks) (Info)
Species: trifolia (try-FOH-lee-a) (Info)
Cultivar: Purpurea

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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7 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Sueinarkansas On Jul 24, 2012, Sueinarkansas from Prescott, AR wrote:

We are in zone 8 in southwest Arkansas, and I bought three of these, two of which did not survive their first winter still in the grower's pots. The one that was alive was struggling, so I planted it in the ground and it thrived and got very big over the growing season. It just kept coming back every year, so I moved it to a permanent location and it dies back in the winter but sprouts up again in the spring, SO, it is herbaceous in zone 8.

Positive newgreenguy On May 5, 2012, newgreenguy wrote:

I have 4 of these beautiful plants, one of them trained as a stunning center patio piece tree on the north side of the home. The others are in the front of the south facing home in full sun. This is a great shrub for warmer climates. Mine are pest free, grow fast, and easy to shape. It's a very large shrub and so anyone looking for a small accent will struggle to keep this under 4x4. The height specifications above are a little suspect as I have never seen this taller than 9ft though I am anxious to see how tall it will grow as a patio tree. This plant appears to be quickly entering the mainstream in So Cal along with other plants from Australia/New Zealand.

Positive velmansia On Jun 10, 2010, velmansia from Antioch, TN wrote:

I have this plant and was worried that it would not survive our winter. We had one of the coldest winter this year and to my surprised, the plant has now started to sprout from underground. I am glad I didn't uprooted it.

Positive paulforbes On Apr 23, 2008, paulforbes from Fresno, CA wrote:

I planted this in August last year from a one gallon. We had temperatures below freezing several times in December, and January, with the coldest being around 28 F. It lost some leaves and some leaves were burned at the edges, and there was some small twig die back, but it survived and is now growing rapidly. It gets partial shade in the mornings and evenings and full sun during the middle of the day.

Positive bucko On May 17, 2007, bucko from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I have had two for about six months, one in full sun and one in partial shade, both doing well. These grow VERY fast as previously commented but it is not invasive and very tough. Awsome foliage. Although it can grow tall according to the specs, I have easily kept it at shrub size and it continues to bloom.

Positive vossner On Oct 2, 2006, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I am absolutely crazy about this plant, with its lavender underside and its delicate lavender flowers. I grow it as a shrub and it grows super fast! Supposed to be easy to propagate from cutting, but so far no luck. Mine are planted inground, full sun.

Positive salvia_lover On Aug 19, 2004, salvia_lover from Modi'in
Israel wrote:

Gorgeous bush all year long. My sources list it as deciduous, but for us (central Israel) it retains most of it's leaves in winter and rather sheds old leaves continually throughout the year. Everything about this plant is interesting: leaf color, fruit, flowers. I especially like the delicate little lavender purple flowers. The plant grows very very fast and is suitable for using as a bush or as a hedge. If left to grow too long between trimming though, it can look pretty ragged after a hard prune....but no worries, it grows so fast that even a 'bad hair cut' will quickly mend itself. It doesn't mind heat at all, but does need a regular supply of water....though it's not an especially thirsty plant. We're in the height of our dry season here in Israel where no rain falls at all for months on end and our 8' wide and 8' tall Vitex only gets 10 liters of water per week. I haven't tried it, but I'm willing to bet we could cut that in half and the Vitex would stand up to the heat just fine. It grows very well on a slope where it can wind upwards as well as trail down the hill gracefully. Here in Israel, they are often used on embankments along highways and a single plant can easily wind it's way to a width of 10 meters or more...despite what any description says. I highly recommend this bush in the garden unless you are very very against any type of pruning.


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

Chandler, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Carlsbad, California
Fresno, California
Madera, California
Vista, California
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Miami, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Antioch, Tennessee
Houston, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas

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