Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
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Not native to Florida
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: Category II designation
Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species.
Planting this species should be avoided and removal of existing plants may be desirable.
A shrub or small tree in mostly coastal areas of the central and southern peninsula. Also invasive in Hawaii. SImpleleaf chastetree is native to tropical coastlines from east Africa to French Polynesia (Tahiti & nearby islands).
The flowers are in clusters or panicles up to 18 cm (7 in.) long. Each violet-lavender flower is two-lipped, with the upper lip two-lobed and the lower three-lobed. There are four stamens capped with purple anthers covered in white, and a bifurcate stigma. Leaves are opposite, with stipules and three leaflets that are green on top and a much lighter grayish-green underneath.. Stems are square with plants growing up to 5 m (16.4 ft.) tall.
The Vitex genus was previously classified as a member of the Verbenaceae (verbena) family, but was transferred to the Lamiaceae (mint) family as a result of DNA studies.