Isn’t this plant a sight to behold? It stopped in my tracks as I drove through a client’s neighborhood in Mercer Island. It certainly has found its happy place in this garden.
Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus), is a small, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with distinctly palmate, aromatic, gray-green leaves. The upright, spreading habit creates a lovely dome of fine foliage and in mid-summer, the plant is covered with fragrant, foot-long panicles of purplish-blue flowers.
Image Source: http://www.texassuperstar.com/plants/vitex/index.html
It grows up to 15′-20′ tall and 10′-15′ wide, if left unpruned or trained as a tree. Since it blooms on new wood, it can be cut back every year as well. Being a Mediterranean native, it grows best in full sun and well-drained soils. It is drought-tolerant once established. It is one of the last ones leaf out in spring in the Pacific NW, so locate it in the back of a south-west facing shrub bed or train as a small accent tree. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage another set of blooms.
WA State Noxious Weed Control Board recommends this plant a great alternative to the invasive Butterfly Bush (Buddleja). Bonus: It is deer-resistant!
Image Source: ismdavid – https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/39966/