lilac chastetree Verbenaceae Vitex
agnus-castus L. symbol: VIAG
Leaf: Opposite, palmately compound, 2 to 6 inches across, usually five leaflets per leaf (sometimes 7), leaflets mostly lanceolate wih entire margins, very short petiolules, dark and shiny green above and pale pubescent below, very aromatic when crushed.
Flower: Bright blue-lilac, very fragrant, in slender spiked panicles at the branch tips, to 8 inches (18 inches when subtending flower spikes are included), late summer, spectacular when in full flower.
Fruit: Round green and fleshy, drying and turning brown, 1/8 inch in diameter, persistent through winter, held cup-like.
Twig: Slender, opposite, gray-brown and pubescent, quadrangular, buds are wedge-shaped to rounded and gray-brown.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray-brown, becoming blocky on older stems.
Form: A large shrub to 15 feet (occasionally a small tree to 20 feet) and of equal spread.
Looks like: chastetree - beach vitex
Additional Range Information: Vitex agnus-castus is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting lilac chastetree.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654