Vitex, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chaste Tree, Monk's Pepper 'Lavender Lady'

Vitex agnus-castus

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





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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 fa... read more


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 ... read more