Vitex Negundo (Chinese Chaste Berry Tree) Seeds


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Vitex Negundo, known as Chinese Chaste Tree is an ornamental, aromatic shrub related to the traditional Chaste Tree, vitex angus-castus. Vitex Negundo is also known as Fine-leaved Chaste Tree in addition to a number of Sanskrit and Indian names. The name chaste tree is derived from ancient Greece where Athenian women would place leaves of the chaste tree in their beds during the feast of Cereus to remain pure and virtuous. Herbal use has existed for centuries. The plant is reported to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. The leaves, flowers and roots of the plant have been used as an herbal remedy for joint inflammation, particularly from rheumatism, arthritis and sprains. It is perhaps because of its reported antifungal and antibacterial qualities that vitex negundo has been used as an herbal remedy for leprosy and other skin diseases. Other herbal applications for the Chinese Chaste Tree include diarrhea, cholera, liver disease, colds, flu and asthma. Like vitex angus-castus, the seeds of negundo can be used as a spice. Vitex negundo is native to the Mediterranean, Africa, Madagascar, the Philippines and central Asia, but it will grow in the parts of North America as well. Vitex Negundo will grow in colder climates than vitex angus-castus, but both my require protection from cold winter weather. It can grow to be five feet in the first season, but benefits from being cut back in the spring. It can eventually reach a height of up to 25 feet. This species also tends to attract bees that can pollinate your garden.

Growing Information: This species is considered hardy from zones 6-10. It does best in a sandy or clay loam in moderate to full sun. Sow your seeds at a depth of about 1/2’” in a well-draining soil. Drainage is essential with this species, even though it can tolerate infertile or alkaline soils. An ideal ph is around 5.5-7.5. Keep the soil warm and moist. Even after germination, the best growth will occur when the soil stays evenly moist (not wet). . This plant can be grown indoors in a sunny location or outside. When planting outdoors in a permanent location, it is best to wait until the plant reaches a height of about 1-2 feet so that it will be large enough to endure its first winter. Full sun will produce the best growth, although this species can tolerate partial sun. Trim back after frost if desired.

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