Vitex agnus-castus

milehigh_7

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I started this thread for those interested in sharing what they know about this neat little tree. I had stated I would post pics of my white ones but they are not open just yet.

So here are a couple of pics of a purple one outside of my office. Sorry for the quality the pics are from my phone.

I thought the bark was pretty cool. If you have never smelled a tree this size in bloom, you are missing a treat. The flowers smell fantastic and the tree has a bit of a camphor/eucalyptus smell to it. The combination is wonderful!
 

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A month ago I had never heard of Vitex - now it's all the rage :) I love the bark. It looks like scales on a turtle shell. Does a young tree bark up like that?
 

milehigh_7

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I did not know that they were popular for bonsai but they sure do well in the heat so I have some. My white ones are about an inch and starting to bark up. The one in the picture is about 12" caliper.


It remains to be seen if the leaves can be controlled. They look somewhat like cannabis and normally get about 3" across.
 

irene_b

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I did not know that they were popular for bonsai but they sure do well in the heat so I have some. My white ones are about an inch and starting to bark up. The one in the picture is about 12" caliper.


It remains to be seen if the leaves can be controlled. They look somewhat like cannabis and normally get about 3" across.
The leaves reduce very well.
Irene
 

Attila Soos

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They make great bonsa material, heat tolerant and almost indestructible. I have two growing in the ground, the trunk can develop all kind of interesting twists and turns.
 

milehigh_7

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They make great bonsa material, heat tolerant and almost indestructible. I have two growing in the ground, the trunk can develop all kind of interesting twists and turns.
I have to say, hearing you and Mom say that these are good is likely the best news I have heard in ages. They are absolutely everywhere here. Even a bunch of big ones if I can find someone digging them up. :D

I know they bud back on old wood very well.
 

Attila Soos

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Yep, they are prefect for your area. And you can prune them as hard as you want, they bud everywhere. Those leaves look really cute, when they reduce - a friend of mine thought that I grow them for smoking:).
 

PaulH

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Wow! I just happened to buy one of these today on impulse as I am unfamiliar with the tree but saw one I thought had bonsai potential. It's in a 5 gallon pot and already has corky bark and the trunk is only about 2" diameter.
Now I really like it.
Paul
 

milehigh_7

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Excellent Paul! We can all compare notes on them. Yes they don't bark up for awhile so that is a good find. Given that they bud back so well you don't have to worry about the branching at all.

I would really love to see a pic of one finished in a pot of anyone has such a beast handy.
 

milehigh_7

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Ok everyone I am back on the boards (but just a little) after nearly a year away. I have been up to my eyeballs working with the new nonprofit.


Anyway, I owe Irene and David (mapleman77) some seeds from my white Vitex. I likely have enough for one or two more folks. David and Irene if you two would PM me your addresses I will get your seeds in the mail. Very sorry for the delay life has been crazy to say the least.

If anyone else wants a few send the PM with your address.

Here is a pic of one of the white Vitex. It is starting to bark up a bit and measures about 1.5" at the base.
 

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Yamadori

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The common name is Chaste Tree because monks would make a concoction from the leaves and berries to reduce their libido. It is used medicinally for PMS and other hormonal issues in both women and men.

It looks like a fun one for those of you in hotter climates.
 

irene_b

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Ok everyone I am back on the boards (but just a little) after nearly a year away. I have been up to my eyeballs working with the new nonprofit.


Anyway, I owe Irene and David (mapleman77) some seeds from my white Vitex. I likely have enough for one or two more folks. David and Irene if you two would PM me your addresses I will get your seeds in the mail. Very sorry for the delay life has been crazy to say the least.

If anyone else wants a few send the PM with your address.

Here is a pic of one of the white Vitex. It is starting to bark up a bit and measures about 1.5" at the base.
PM sent...
 

milehigh_7

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I have about decided that @Smoke's way of letting a Trident grow and chopping it back really low is the right thing on Vitex as well. For one thing, you can be brutal with them both in top pruning and root pruning for another they look best with lots of movement and not much straight trunk. I have read that some places where it freezes people have these planted and the top will die down to the ground and grow back every year.

Here are the pictures after the chop for 2 of them that I am working on I cut about 4 feet off of both of them. 20170227_192410.jpg 20170227_194054.jpg

Here's the first one. It's a little smaller 2" at the ground Now just a smidge over 2" tall.
 

Anthony

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Please note - the Vitex used by the East Indians is not Agnus Castus.
So no mater how well you cultivate, you will not get the high end visual results,

This is very similar to the Clerodendron [ Love lies bleeding ] situation of the 70's.
Humble Apologies.
Good Day
Anthony
 

milehigh_7

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Please note - the Vitex used by the East Indians is not Agnus Castus.
So no mater how well you cultivate, you will not get the high end visual results,

This is very similar to the Clerodendron [ Love lies bleeding ] situation of the 70's.
Humble Apologies.
Good Day
Anthony
Exactly what "high end visual results" would you be assuming I'm after? In truth, this is likely the single best bonsai species for hot and dry climates. I am curious to hear which results can't be obtained by these. I am pretty sure I comprehend that a Genus may have multiple species... In fact, this particular one has over 250 species.
 
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aml1014

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With the right specimen, I think vitex agnus castus would blow both of these out of the water. They have rough furrowed bark, grow fast with great foliage size reduction, and they have wonderful flowers. Full size trees around here are drop dead gorgeous. They also grow fast, so they devolop fast, and they have foliage similar to Acer Palmatum, but can handle desert heat! Great trees.

Aaron
 

milehigh_7

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Very likely not by me but with capable hands I don't see that tree as being unattainable based on the results I have already had from these. If one were to take all factors, leaf reduction, bark, back-budding, response to root work, the flexibility of young branches, flowers and yes ability to withstand 120+ in direct sun I don't think they can be beaten. I take it you have never had one @Anthony.
 
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