Vitex-Shoal Creek is a reliable flowering tree that can be shaped into a small tree or used as a large shrub. Showy purple flowers are continuously produced during its long bloom period. Hardy in zones 6 to 9, a tender perennial in zone 5
Vitex Agnus castus was known since ancient times as Chaste Tree for its supposed aphrodisiac qualities. Chaste Trees were brought to the colonies very early for their qualities as a medicinal herb. Their beauty in the garden and the ability to supply poles for beans and peas from their vigorous annual growth.
Vitex Agnus castus is a different species from Vitex negundo. Vitex Shoal Creek is a selection made from the Agnus castus selections. It has been selected over many years for its larger more colorful flowers. Both are equally attractive to bees though Vitex negundo is said to be slightly hardier. Both are vigorous growers and produce their abundant flowers on the current seasons growth.
Vitex is hardy in zones 6 to 10. In zone 5 it may be possible to grow as a tender perennial in a protected spot. Even in zone 6 it should be cut to the ground each fall and grown as a shrub. Because of its rapid growth , Vitex is an effective summer blooming shrub even when managed this way.
Farther south, Vitex can be a large shrub or it can be pruned to a single or multi-stemmed small tree. It can be trained as a small tree in the deep south where it can reach 25 feet tall. It can be a shrub of 3 feet or a tree of 15 feet depending on the needs of the gardener. This versatility of form means Vitex can be used in almost any landscape. Vitex makes an effective hedge and as such is a very effective bee forage.