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Vitex, Purple-leaf

Vitex, Purple-leaf

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Vitex, Purple-leaf
Scientific Name: Vitex trifolia 'Purpurea'
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History/general species info: Native of Asia, this purple leaf variety of the Vitex came from an early American nurseryman Peter Henderson in 1670. The "Lilac Chaste Tree" has been the shrub of choice to mimic lilacs, which are restricted to cooler regions.

Characteristics: Evergreen. Stunning, shrubby tree that produces eye-catching purple foliage. Good choice as a colorful hedge, good on slopes, pruned into a small patio tree, or laced out for a graceful back drop.

Native: No

Flower: purple

Planting / Care: Water moderately waiting until the substrate has completely dried. They resist drought well. Fertilize in early spring with compost. Prune intensively in late winter. Fairly drought tolerant along the coast once established but may require more water inland. It grows fast and gets big so give substantial room and trim back occasionally to promote flushes of new growth.

Height/Spread: 5' x 12'

Light requirement: Full sun to light shade

Wildlife: Butterflies, bees