University of Florida

Vitex agnus-castus 'Shoals Creek' (Shoals Creek Chastetree)

Shoals Creek Chastetree

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  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7A - 9B
  • Mature Height: 15 to 25 ft
  • Mature Spread: 15 to 25 ft
  • Growth Rate: Moderate to fast
  • Availability: Becoming more available
  • Drought Tolerance: Moderate
  • Salt Tolerance: Moderate
  • Light Requirements: Full sun for best flowering
  • Native Origin: Not native to North America. Invasive potential has not been assessed in Florida.
  • Soil Drainage: Needs a well-drained site.
  • Foliage: Deciduous tree with no showy fall color.
  • Flowers: Purple, very showy flowers in summer.
  • Pests: Free of serious pests and diseases.

Description: An ideal patio, specimen, or lawn tree, Chastetree is often seen as a small, 10 to 15-foot-tall tree with a rounded, spreading canopy in a wind-protected area. Deciduous for several months in dormant season. Chastetree has four-inch-long green leaves with lighter gree undersides. These leaves drop fairly early in fall. Flowers fill the canopy in late spring and summer with deep purple blossoms appearing in dense 4 to 8-inch-long terminal clusters. The eight-inch-long seed heads which follow are brown and persist on the tree through the winter.

Chastetree is very useful as a median tree or accent for its vivid flower display, symmetrical habit and drought tolerance. Once established it can survive on rainfall alone and produce an excellent flower display each year. It also makes a nice tree for planting close to the patio or deck where it will cast a light to medium shade below the canopy.

Trees are best in full sun on any reasonably fertile soil with moderate moisture. Trees planted with circling roots often lean or fall over as they mature. Be sure to remove the circling portion of the root system prior to planting.

Gainesville Observations: Trees flower very well and they are beautiful in all years in Gainesville. Trees are multi-trunked making it very difficult to create a dominant leader. Last years seed heads should be removed to make the tree attractive. No particulr pests have been a problem.