Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
6 ratings

Thursday - May 12, 2005

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Other
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Smarty Plants on vitex
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a vitex tree and I don't know anything about it other that it blooms. Can you tell me everything there is about this tree?

ANSWER:

The Common Chaste-tree or Lilac Chaste-tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is not native to North America. It was introduced from the Mediterranean regions of southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Here are more photos and further information about the Vitex tree.

Compounds made from the roots, flowers, leaves, bark and dried fruits of the tree have been used since ancient times in treating "female" disorders. The species name, agnus-castus from the Greek, means chaste since it was thought by the Greeks to suppress sexual passion. You can read more about its history and uses as an herbal medicine.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Distinguishing non-native Wisteria from Austin
June 25, 2012 - How do I distinguish a native wisteria from a non-native wisteria?
view the full question and answer

The invasiveness of Lupinus arboreus
January 23, 2009 - Hi, Researching Lupinus arboreus, I found that it is considered a serious invasive in Northern California coastal areas, especially Humbolt Bay. Scotch broom, of course, is an awful pest on the coast...
view the full question and answer

Are These Plants Natives for Flower Mound, Texas?
September 24, 2010 - We are having our flower beds reworked and these are the plants that the company is recommending to plant. I would like to know if these plants are native to our area:pink muhly grass, lythrum, lorope...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating English Ivy in East Flat Rock NC
April 13, 2010 - In the woods behind our house our neighbor has an invasion of English Ivy. It creeps over and through the fence into our yard, and we want to fight back! I have read the other articles about cutting...
view the full question and answer

Advocacy of non-native plants.
December 10, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Instead of asking a question, I would like to comment on the seemingly discouraging tone on growing plants or trees out of their native habitat that I have observed from rea...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.