Lilac chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)
Lilac chaste tree also known as Vitex agnus-castus provides a dramatic flower display at a time when spring flowering plants have faded and prior to most of the summer flowering shrubs. In fact it has the potential for reblooming in the heat of summer.
The overall growth habit and twisted multi-stemed truck lend an aged look to the landscape similar to that of ancient olive trees of Italy or old established grape vines. Lilac chaste tree makes a great plant for the zones 7-10. Tolerating a minimum temperature above 0°F. This plant might be found in an older established garden where it performs very well in a dry exposed sunny spot. A loose sandy soil is quite suitable. A fresh layer of mulch is always helpful to avoid extremes of temperature and moisture loss.
The foliage actually adds much to the character and ornamental value of this plant. Opposite, ornately-compound leaves with 5-7 leaflets per leaf. The Lilac chaste tree grows into a wide spreading tall shrub or small tree about 10-15 feet in height and spread. The grey-green flowers and blue flowers combine to add a unique focal point to the landscape.