Please submit a search term.

Vitex rotundifolia

Common Name(s):
Round-leaf vitex, Beach Vitex
Category:
Shrubs
Comment:

Salt spray and drought tolerant; spreads by runners; has become very invasive in some coastal settings - NOT recommended for coastal landscapes.

Listed as Invasive

Alternatives that are less weedy:

  • American beachgrass, Ammophila breviligulata
  • Bitter panicum, Panicum amarum
  • Purple Hairgrass, Muhlenbergia sericea
  • Saltmeadow cordgrass, Spartina patens
  • Sea oats, Uniola paniculata
  • Seaside little bluestem, Schizachyrium littorale

Vitex rotundifolia was brought from Korea to North Carolina beaches in the mid-1980s to protect beaches from coastal erosion. Within a few years, it spread to natural beaches and undeveloped islands. Beach vitex is a serious threat to native dune plants, nesting sites for sea turtles and foraging and nesting areas for shore birds from Georgia to Maryland.

It is listed as a State Noxious Weed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In the coastal counties of North Carolina, it is now illegal to sell, distribute or move this species from one property to another.

 

Height:
1-2 ft.
Foliage:
Round dark gray-green leaves; whitish gray on underside
Flower:
Bluish purple flowers in summer
Zones:
6b to 10
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Sun; range of soil types including clay and sand; does well in beachfront sites
Form:
Sprawling, spreading
Width:
6-15 ft.
Tags:
invasive, deciduous, vine

NCCES plant id: 1850

Vitex rotundifolia bloom Vitex rotundifolia blossum
David Eickhoff, CC BY - 2.0
Vitex rotundifolia vine Vitex rotundifolia vine
Forrest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0
Vitex rotundifolia plant Vitex rotundifolia plant
Forrest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0