The Chaste Tree is a Vitex native to Europe and Asia. It is used extensively throughout the sourthern states as a popular, small, ornamental tree. It is fairly fast-growing and tolerates most adverse environments. Heat, drought, winds, and poor soil don’t kill the Chaste Tree.
The aromatic leaves of the Chaste Tree have five to seven leaflets. They are dark green on top and grey-green on the bottom. The compound leaves are often mistaken for marijuana plants. When in bloom, the flower clusters appear on the season’s new growth in late spring. They form a display of several flower spikes at the end of the branches. The bloom continues through summer and are displayed in violet, blue, purple, and white colors. Often mistaken for a Butterfly Tree when in bloom, the Chaste Tree attracts butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.