Vitex – Identification

Q: A family member bought this plant at a yard sale/flea market but does not know what it is. It is a small tree – but the leaves look like hemp. Any ideas?

A: More than one ornamental plant has caused cops and homeowners to do a double take. You have a chaste tree, Vitex agnus-castis but scarlet hibiscus leaves also look a lot like hemp.

Chaste tree gets its name from its medieval reputation for suppressing the carnal desires of maidens and nuns.

I doubt that use is effective but the large shrub/small tree is effective as an ornament along the Interstate. There is a big mass of them planted along I-85 going South just below Lenox Rd.

Plant yours where it can get lots of room – It can grow fifteen feet high and the same amount wide.


vitex leaf


scarlet hibiscus leaf


vitex flower

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