- Common Name(s):
- Round-leaf vitex, Beach Vitex
Salt spray and drought tolerant; spreads by runners; has become very invasive in some coastal settings - NOT recommended for coastal landscapes.
Listed as Invasive
- NC State Weed Specialist, "Highly Invasive"
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth
- Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
- North Carolina Invasive Plant Council
- North Carolina Native Plant Society, "Severe Threat"
- North Carolina Noxious Weed List
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.
- 1-2 ft.
- Round dark gray-green leaves; whitish gray on underside
- Bluish purple flowers in summer
- 6b to 10
- Sun; range of soil types including clay and sand; does well in beachfront sites
- Sprawling, spreading
- 6-15 ft.
NCCES plant id: 1850