Vitex, Agnus Castus, Chaste Tree, Lilac Chastetree, Monk's Pepper 'Shoal Creek'

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: Shoal Creek






Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:



24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Calera, Alabama

Phenix City, Alabama

Maricopa, Arizona

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Deltona, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Lecanto, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Cordele, Georgia

Richmond Hill, Georgia

Townsend, Georgia

Derby, Kansas

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana(2 reports)

Hammond, Louisiana

Monroe, Louisiana

Walker, Louisiana

Youngsville, Louisiana

Muskegon, Michigan

Kirtland, New Mexico

Los Lunas, New Mexico

Germanton, North Carolina

Hayesville, North Carolina

Salina, Oklahoma

Charleston, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Corpus Christi, Texas(2 reports)

Dallas, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Elgin, Texas

Frisco, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas

Houston, Texas

Irving, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Port Arthur, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Temple, Texas

Alexandria, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia

Sandyville, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 30, 2015, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

Planted in fall 2014, amended clay soil, brutal afternoon sun, access to sprinkler. It has done well and it hasn't been too much of a pain to cut suckers. I'm trying to grow as a standard, knowing that a colder than average winter might kill it to the ground.


On May 14, 2009, Kodyjane from Muskegon, MI wrote:

I bought this plant last fall. I saw it growing at a local tree farm and it was beautiful. They said they always cut it back to the ground in spring and it grows to four feet tall and wide by end of summer. So far this spring, I have seen only very tiny shoots at the base of the otherwise dead-looking bare plant. Maybe it is slow to emerge. It is planted in full sun. I will report more as the season continues.


On Mar 18, 2008, khopton from Adelaide,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

Love it!! I planted it in full sun in late winter while it was dormant and only about a foot high and this summer it shot up to about 5' and bloomed and bloomed. Stunning flowers, fast growing and very tough in full sun, high heat (we had two weeks of 104F dry heat this year) and little water. I dead headed once in summer and it gave me another flush of beautiful purple flowers. Highly recommended!


On Oct 6, 2007, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

Shoal Creek is a hybrid, and may not come true from seed. Tends to be more showy than open pollinated cultivars, with longer bloom spikes up to 12" long. Color is also a little more vibrant. Blooms (lavender-blue) in both spring and fall and is fairly drought tolerant.