Vitex rotundifolia (Beach Vitex)

  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0126
  • Botanical Name: Vitex rotundifolia
  • Common Name: Beach Vitex, Monk's Pepper, Roundleaf chaste tree, Pohinahina (Hawaii)
  • Cultivar: N/A
  • Family: Lamiaceae
Vitex rotundifolia 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Native To: Coastal ranges from India to Korea to Hawaii to Australia (widespread)

Landscaping Information

    • Plant Type: Shrub, Groundcover
    • Texture: Medium
    • Form: Mound to Mat
    • Height (on average, in landscape use):  3'
    • Height to Spread Ratio: 2:3
    • Growth Rate: Medium to Fast
    • Landscape Values: Border, Color, Edging, Facer, Filler, Foundation, Framing, Groundcover, Hedge, Erosion Control
    • Outstanding Quality: Flower Color, Foliage Color, Fragrance, Form/Silhouette, Foliage Characters
    Vitex rotundifolia 
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Botanical Descriptions

    • Flowers: Mint-type flowers, blueish purple to purple. 0.5" long.
    Vitex rotundifolia flower
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Vitex rotundifolia flower (low quality)
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Fruits: Drupe, 0.25" wide, blueish purple to black when ripe.
    Vitex rotundifolia fruits ripening
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Foliage Color: Young/immature: soft, white green. Mature: Gray Green to Bright Medium Green.
    • Foliage Tip: Rounded to Emarginated
    • Foliage Base: Acute
    • Petiole: 0.1"-0.25"
    • Stipules: N/A
    • Margins: Smooth
    • Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
    Vitex rotundifolia leaves
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Leaf Shape: orbiculate to ovate
    • Leaf Type: Simple
    • Leaf Texture: Waxy, soft, thin, somewhat leathery, small hairs
    • Leaf Special Notes: silvery green leaves densely arranged. Leaves are fragrant reminiscent of a coastal chaparral spice.  
    Vitex rotundifolia leaf adaxial surface
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    Vitex rotundifolia leaf abaxial surface
    Photo by Matthew Gaston

    • Bark and Trunk: Smooth to slightly rough light brown to beige bark.  

    Horticultural Information

      • Light Preference:  Full Sun.
      • Light Tolerances: Semi-Sun
      • Soil Preferences: Not too Particular, Sand, Dry (Mesic), Well-Drained.
      • Tolerances: Compacted Soil, Salt Air, Saline Soil, Moderate Winds, Humidity, Drought
      • Water Requirements: Moderate
      • Notes on Maintenance: Low Maintenance, allow room to spread outward.
      • Propagation: Seeds, Cutting, Root Division. 
      • Minimum USDA Hardiness Zone: 7a-10a
      • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): native to Hawaii, ergo no report, but in the south eastern United States it is highly invasive and disrupting fragile shoreline. Learn more here.

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