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Chaste Tree, Monks' Pepper Tree
Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus L.
Synonym:
Family: Verbenaceae
Chaste Tree, Monks' Pepper Tree (Vitex  agnus-castus) Recommended Temperature Zone:
sunset: 4-24
USDA: 6-10

Frost Tolerance: Hardy to -10F ( -23C)

Heat Tolerance: Needs a high summer heat to look its best

Sun Exposure: Full sun to light shade

Origin: Southern Europe, in woodlands and dry areas

Growth Habits: Deciduous shrub, up to 20 feet tall (6 m), 20 feet wide (6 m); palmately compound leaves, 3 to 4 inches wide (7.5-10 cm) with 5 to 7 fingerlike leaflets, reminding of Marijuana (Cannabis spp.)

Watering Needs: Established specimens need little water, but look better with deep watering every 2 weeks in the hot deserts.

Propagation: Seeds or cuttings, cuttings have the advantage of a known flower color.


Dark green foliage, moderate littering. The name of Chaste Tree comes from the fact that when used as tea it was supposed to reduce sexual desire. Actually, modern studies show that some of the compounds in the leaves inhibit the action of males hormons.
The species name "agnus-castus" comes from the Greek and Latine for "chast".

Cultural Practices:
The chaste tree needs occasional trimmings to look tidy. The spent flower stalk should be removed. Grow it in moderately fertile soil, as a too fertile soil will decrease the bloom.

Blooming Habits:
Lavender or white flowers in the spring. They are followed by dry capsules with a peppery smell

Fruiting Habits:


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Desert-Tropicals is dedicated to provide gardening advice, gardening ideas, and information about flower of all kind for landscape and collections. We try to check carefully the identification of the plants on the illustrations as well as the other information from the page, but occasionally errors do occur. if you notice anything that needs to be changed please contact us. Thanks.

1998-2005 Philippe Faucon, All Rights Reserved.