AZ Arboretums

Vitex agnus-castus

Chaste TreeCommon: Chaste tree, Monk's pepper, Hemp tree, Sage tree
Family: Verbenaceae
Sunset Zone: 4-24
Origin: Native of southern Europe and western Asia, naturalized in warm areas of United States
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerates many types of soils. Easy to grow in fertile, well-drained soil. Not hard to grow in almost any soil that is well-drained; even tolerant of salt drift.
Water: Does well in desert conditions, but remains shrubby without moderate irrigation.
Growth: 10-25 feet with equal spread

Good for summer flower color and shrub borders. When trained, makes good shade tree.

Use as specimen flowering tree. Use in raised planters. Deciduous shrub or small tree. Usually multi-trunked. Habit broad and spreading.

Growth in slow in cold climates, fast in warmer areas. Size varies from 6 ft. in Northwest to 23 ft. in low desert. Spreads to 10-15 feet wide.

Light gray bark. Leaves are compound, with 5 to 7 finger-like leaflets. Medium to dark green above with gray underneath, 2-6 inches in length.

Palmate leaf form provides interesting textures. Leaves are aromatic, and bear striking resemblance to hemp or cannabis plant. Leaves have medicinal use and seeds are sometimes used in seasoning.