Vitex lucens
Common name: 
New Zealand Chaste Tree
VI-teks loo-senz
Lamiaceae, Verbenaceae
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen tree, to 30-60 ft (~10-20 m) tall, spreading, rounded crown.  Leaves opposite, palmately compound, 3 or 5 leaf lefts, with 5 leaflets the 2 basal leaflets are much smaller than the remaining 3, each leaflet is obovate to oblong-elliptic, to about 12 cm long, 5 cm wide, tip pointed (acute or acuminate), margin wavy but entire, shiny dark green.  Flowers pink or red (occasionally white), tubular, to about 3.5 cm long, composed of 2 petals, which together form 4 lobes, and 4 long stamen, the flowers are in axillary clusters (panicles).   Fruit bright red, rounded, 2 cm wide, matures in the spring.  The flowers produce nectar and are extremely popular with birds, as are the fruits.  Humans, however, generally consider the fruit has poor flavor.
  • Sun
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 9 (semi-tropical)      Native to New Zealand (North Island)
  • Puriri: the Maori name of this tree, sometimes 'kauere'.
  • lucens: bright, shining
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leaves


  • leaf


  • leaf, underside

    leaf, underside

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark