Pink Pinnacle Chaste TreeVitex agnus-castus 'V07-SC-OP-4' (PP# 27,374)
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Vitex agnus-castus 'V07-SC-OP-4' (PP# 27,374)
Outdoor Growing zone
The Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree is a small to medium-sized shrub growing to 8 feet in warmer areas, and less in cooler zones. It has gray-green leaves with spreading lobes like a hand, and they smell of sage. From June into September 6-inch spikes of bright pink blooms sprout with profusion, adding wonderful late color to your garden. Grow it as a flowering shrub, as a small multi-stem tree, or spread out on a sunny wall, depending on your local climate. It is perfect for zero-watering gardens, hot and dry conditions, sandy soils, and in coastal areas.
Plant your Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree in full sun, in any well-drained soil, including sandy and rocky soils. Established plants are very drought resistant, and untroubled by pests, diseases or deer. It will grow in salty soils, beach sands and with ocean salt-spray as well. Prune in spring as needed, depending on your climate.
These days, everyone is looking for plants that need less water, and that can be grown in drier conditions than many of our traditional garden plants can be. You might not have heard of the chaste tree – it’s one of those great plants that has been overlooked – but the need for xeric plants has brought it to the front of the line. No wonder. Not only is this shrub happy to grow in hot, dry conditions, and thrive at the seashore, it’s a striking, handsome bush or small tree that all of us would love to have in our gardens. The Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree is a superb example of just what this plant can do for your garden. The bold and bright spikes of rich-pink flowers come in late summer and through fall – just when our gardens can use a color-boost – and the gray-green foliage is always clean, with a striking aromatic sage-like smell when you crush it. Thriving in all hot states, in cooler areas it is a valuable wall-shrub for a south-facing surface, so take your gardening to new peaks of beauty and plant a PINK Pinnacle Chaste Tree.
The Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree is a deciduous shrub that grows in an upright, vase-shaped form. In warmer zones it can reach 8 feet tall, or even a little more, but in cooler zones it will probably be around 4 feet tall because of winter injury – which doesn’t reduce flowering. Young stems are gray-brown and covered in fine hairs. Older stems are light gray and smooth, becoming rougher, with flaking bark, and darker in color, as they age and thicken. The leaves are a muted, slightly grayed out green, more yellow green in spring, turning dark, and then turning brighter yellow in fall. They are carried in pairs along the stems, and each leaf is divided into 7 or 5 long leaflets, like fingers on a hand. The leaflets are around 2 inches long. Both stems and leaves are fragrant when crushed, with a spicy, sage-like aroma.
Flowers come later in the season, after many other shrubs have finished flowering. The first blooms open in late June or July, and continue all through September. Spikes of flowers develop at the ends of new stems, and these are up to 6 inches long, packed with many round buds. These open into small flaring flowers, and both the buds and flowers are a striking bright, light, purple-pink color. Flowers are magnets for pollinators, butterflies and hummingbirds, who will flock to your garden to the delight of your children. After blooming clusters of seed pods develop, called ‘monks’ pepper’, because they look like pepper-corns.
How best to use the Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree in your garden depends a lot on where you are. In zones 5 and 6 this plant is best growing as a shrub to about 3 feet tall, since there will always be some winter damage. It will still flower profusely on schedule. Plant it in shrub beds and borders, or on slopes and among rocks and boulders. In areas with cool summers, no matter what zone, it is best planted at the foot of a warm, south-facing wall, with the branches tied back as it grows. Flowering will be much more reliable, prolonged and profuse. In warmer zones, and in areas with hot, dry summers it will grow as a medium-sized shrub for beds and rocky areas. With its resistance to salt, this is also a terrific choice for coastal gardens and seaside cottages.
The Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree grows in zones 5 and 6, but with variable levels of winter damage. It resprouts and still blooms well. In warmer zones it won’t die back, and it really thrives in areas with hot, dry and sunny summers, and also areas with heat and high humidity.
Always plant your Pink Pinnacle Chaste Tree in full sun, or it won’t flower much. Avoid wet ground, but any well-drained soil, including sandy, dry soils, suit it just fine. It is very resistant to drought, once established, and ideal for ‘no-watering’ gardens. It also grows with brackish water and in salty soils, and resists ocean salt spray.
Free of significant pests or diseases, and untouched by deer, the only maintenance needed for the Chaste Tree is spring pruning. In colder zones it is best to wait until it begins to sprout a little, so you can easily see what is dead. Remove all dead stems and weak shoots, and build a strong multi-stem framework while young. Once you have an established structure, trim back stems from the previous year to that framework, encouraging new shoots, bushy growth and abundant blooms.
The chaste tree, Vitex agnus-castus, is found growing naturally all around the Mediterranean and east into Central Asia. It’s unusual name comes from the medieval belief that it can ‘reduce lust’, and monks used to stuff their pillows and mattresses with its leaves. A medicinal tea was made from the seed pods.
Professor Carol Robacker is a plant breeder at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. She has used low-intensity gamma radiation to stimulate valuable mutations in plants, and in 2006 she used it on seeds of an older variety of chaste tree called ‘Shoal Creek’. After growing the 12 seedlings that sprouted, she selected one for its pink flowers. It was trialed and tested for 5 years before a patent was applied for, which was granted in 2016 for the benefit of the University’s further research. The plant, named ‘V07-SC-OP-4’, has been released by Star® Roses and Plants with the trademark name of Pink Pinnacle™.
Almost all chaste trees are blue, so Pink Pinnacle™ is a major color-break, and a great companion to other varieties, as well as a tree of value by itself. For summer and fall color, adaptation to coastal gardens, and durability in dry conditions, this tree is unbeatable. Order now, because low-water gardening is very popular and suitable plants sell out very fast.