Vitex, Arabian Lilac 'Purpurea'

Vitex trifolia

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




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Medium Purple

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Chandler, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Carlsbad, California

Fresno, California

Madera, California

Palm Springs, California

Vista, California

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Miami, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Winter Park, Florida

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Antioch, Tennessee

Houston, Texas

Magnolia, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Spring, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 10, 2016, tankX from Palm Springs, CA wrote:

This plant loves heat and maintains a lush appearance when the old reliables do not. This is a forgiving plant. If you have the space it will add what others can not.
This gem will deliver in heat in the low desert for the low water garden. The Arabian Lilac looks great when pruned or un sheared when you have the space for a large bush. For smaller areas, not suitable for small spaces, it loves being sheared and delivers a hedge look that is soft and lush.
Something the water hungry alternatives such as Ficus or Cherry don't deliver with their waxy appearance.To keep as a tidy large hedge expect shearing nearly as often.
Enjoy its velvet appearance and color. The fragrance is a plus (very subtle) and the flowers are delicate.
This plant will grow in burst, m... read more


On Apr 14, 2016, Susi_So_Callif from Vista, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

One thing I've noticed about my plants is that they have a very high percentage of horizontally growing branches. The 1-gal plant I planted in a very very narrow planting area in 2008 is now about 8' tall and about 20' wide. I'm having to tie some of the side branches to a fence to keep it from completely overtaking the area, but it looks great there and I'm happy with it. The other 1-gal I planted in 2009 is a lot smaller, in a shadier location, and was cut way back about a year ago in order to free it from an invasive vine. It also has the horizontal growth form, and I've pruned it so the attractive zig-zaging of the main trunk is visible. The only down side is that the beautiful foliage wilts very quickly, so it can't be used for flower arrangements, which is a great shame.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
UPDATE Aug 2016. I was trying to grow as a short formal hedge but I found myself pruning monthly during growing season. Too much work! This is best grown as a small tree or large privacy hedge. Still love this plant.


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 month... read more