(Vitex agnus-castus)
Sometimes called ‘Texas summer lilac,’ the lacy-leaved vitex is covered with pointy purple panicles from midsummer into fall, providing nectar to hosts of butterflies and bees. Can be left shrubby or pruned into a small tree (there’s a row in front of the Nasher Sculpture Center). Deadheading will stimulate more blooms, although the dried berries are interesting on the bare branches in the winter. Extract from vitex is used widely in Germany to regulate problems associated with menopause, PMS and post-partum hormonal issues. Leaves are sometimes mistaken for marijuana so look out for your neighborhood watch.

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