1. Family: Lamiaceae Martinov
    1. Genus: Vitex L.
      1. Vitex trifolia L.

        This species is very common from East Africa to Tahiti in the Pacific. It is grown as an ornamental and for medicinal use.

    [FTEA]

    Verbenaceae, B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1992

    Habit
    Shrub or small tree to 6.5 m. or some varieties procumbent or creeping and rooting at the nodes, mostly much branched below with slender stems; bark brown, smooth; young branches densely pubescent with greyish hairs.
    Leaves
    Leaves opposite, 1–5-foliolate; leaflets oblong-elliptic or obovate to oblanceolate or sometimes almost round, 1.5–7 cm. long, 0.8–4 cm. wide, obtuse, emarginate or rounded to acute or acuminate at the apex, cuneate to attenuate or rarely rounded at the base, entire or in one variety 2–3-sect, puberulous or glabrescent and ± gland-dotted above, tomentose to densely velvety pubescent beneath; petioles 0.6–3.3 cm. long; petiolules 0.1–2 cm. long.
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences terminal and axillary in upper leaf-axils, much branched panicles of many-flowered cymes 3–23 cm. long, 2–4 cm. wide; peduncles 1–5 cm. long together with the rhachis grey-pubescent; cymes short, 0.4–1.5 cm. long; pedicels ± 1 mm. long; main bracts leaf-like; bracteoles linear, 1–3 mm. long.
    Calyx
    Calyx 4–5 mm. long, 2.5–3.5 mm. wide with acute or blunt teeth, densely white tomentose outside.
    Corolla
    Corolla blue, lavender or purple, sometimes pale, puberulous outside; tube 1–1.3 cm. long, limb 2-lipped, the lower up to 6 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruits yellow or reddish turning blue or black, globose or ovoid, about 5 mm. long and wide, the calycine cup 5 mm. long and wide, pubescent outside.
    [KSP]

    Kew Species Profiles

    General Description
    Simpleleaf chastetree is very common from East Africa to Tahiti in the Pacific, where it is grown as an ornamental and for medicinal use.
    Species Profile
    Geography and distribution

    Vitex trifolia is widespread from North Australia east to Tahiti and north via Indonesia and the Philippines to China, India and Sri Lanka. Also reported from East Africa and introduced on many Pacific islands in the Central Pacific and Hawaii.

    Habitat

    Simpleleaf chastetree grows on sand, coral, pumice gravel or shale. It is occasionally found in clay over limestone but this is rare. It also grows on beaches and along the inland edge of mangrove swamps, in grasslands and in forest and secondary vegetations. It is often found near watercourses.

    Description

    Overview: Vitex trifolia is a small tree or shrub up to 8 m tall. It has a smooth light grey to brown bark.

    Leaves:  The leaves consist of 3 or 5 smaller leaflets which are all connected at one point (like the fingers of a hand) and are elliptic and between 3 and 12 cm long. The underside is covered with white hairs.

    Flowers: The purple to blue flowers consist of a tube with five lobes; the central lobe is bigger than the others. The four stamens greatly exceed the corolla tube.

    Fruits: The fleshy globose fruits are black when mature and up to 7 mm in diameter.

    Uses

    Simpleleaf chastetree is grown as an ornamental.

    Anecdotal reports suggest it is used for women's health care throughout its range.

    Cultivation

    Vitex trifolia grow well on exposed coastal sand dunes. It likes moist, fertile, well-drained soils. Water well in the summer and avoid the extremes of soil moisture, neither drought nor water logging.

    If propagating seeds, sow freshly collected seed in a mix of sand and coir. If propagating by cuttings, take them when the plants are not in flower or fruit (apical cuttings with at least two nodes). Cuttings should be rooted in a well-drained rooting medium such as perlite and coir under mist.

    Distribution
    Australia, China, Philippines
    Ecology
    Grows on sand, coral, pumice gravel or shale.
    Conservation
    Not threatened.
    Hazards

    None recorded.

    [FZ]

    Flora Zambesiaca. Vol 8, Pt 7. Avicenniaceae, R. Fernandes. Nesogenaceae, M.A. Diniz. Verbenaceae, R. Fernandes. Lamiaceae, R. Fernandes. 2005.

    Calyx
    Calyx shallowly 5-lobed; fruiting calyx cupular or saucer-shaped
    Fruits
    Fruit a drupe, up to 4 cm long and 3.5 cm wide but usually smaller, ellipsoid obovoid or globose, sitting on the enlarged calyx, sometimes edible.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Comoros, Cook Is., Fiji, Gilbert Is., Hainan, Hawaii, India, Iran, Japan, Jawa, Kazan-retto, Kenya, Korea, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Line Is., Madagascar, Malaya, Maluku, Manchuria, Marianas, Marquesas, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Niue, Northern Territory, Ogasawara-shoto, Philippines, Queensland, Samoa, Society Is., Solomon Is., Somalia, South China Sea, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Tuamotu, Tubuai Is., Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., Western Australia

    Introduced into:

    Ascension, Bahamas, Christmas I., Cocos (Keeling) Is., Costa Rica, El Salvador, Florida, Mexico Southeast, Nicaragua, Seychelles, Trinidad-Tobago

    Common Names

    English
    Simpleleaf chastetree

    Vitex trifolia L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2013 I Komang Sujata (Sujata) [IKS 21], Lesser Sunda Is. K000734516
    Jan 14, 1989 Bloembergen, S. [4788], Indonesia K000672674
    Dec 22, 1988 Goklin [2240], Malaysia K000672676
    Dec 21, 1988 Forbes, H.O. [3326a], Indonesia K000672677
    Dec 21, 1988 Riedel, J.G.F. [s.n.], Indonesia K000672685
    Jan 1, 1988 Riedel, J.G.F. [s.n.], Indonesia K000698056
    Dec 12, 1986 Buwalda, P. [4411], Indonesia K000672679
    Dec 12, 1986 Maskuri [909], Indonesia K000672681
    Nov 1, 1985 Powell, D.A. [326], Australia K000698058
    Nov 22, 1984 Kornassi (Capt. Rutten) [926], Indonesia K000672675
    Robinson, C.B. [304], Indonesia K000698055
    Ramlanto [411], Indonesia K000672678
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 1743], Myanmar K001114043
    Wallich, N. [Cat. no. 1743], Myanmar K001114044
    Elbert, J. [4323], Indonesia K000698054
    Anonymous [s.n.], Indonesia K000672684
    Anonymous [s.n.] K000672686
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114045
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114046
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114047
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114048
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743], Thailand K001114049
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743], India K001114050
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114051
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 1743] K001114052

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 638 (1753)

    Accepted by

    • Balkrishna, A. (2018). Flora of Morni Hills (Research & Possibilities): 1-581. Divya Yoga Mandir Trust.
    • Baksh-Comeau, Y., Maharaj, S.S., Adams, C.D., Harris, S.A., Filer, D.L. & Hawthorne, W.D. (2016). An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical 'hotspots' Phytotaxa 250: 1-431.
    • Hammel, B.E., Grayum, M.H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (eds.) (2015). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Volumen VIII. Dicotyledóneas (Sabiaceae-Zygophyllaceae) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 131: 1-657.
    • Evenhuis, N.L. & Eldredge, L.G. (eds.) (2012). Records of the Hawaii biological survey for 2011. Part II: plants Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 113: 1-102.
    • Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (2012). Flora Mesoamericana 4(2): 1-533. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.
    • de Kok, R.P.J. (2007). The genus Vitex L. (Lamiaceae) in New Guinea and the South Pacific islands Kew Bulletin 62: 587-603.
    • Suzuki, M., Taufatofua, P. & Koyama, T. (2007). New records of plants from Tonga Makinoa, n.s., 6: 25-62.
    • National Parks Board Singapore (2006). Vascular Plant Life Checklist Pulau Ubin www.nparks.gov.sg/nparks_cms/cms/cmsmgr/data/6/PlantChkList.xls.
    • Fairhurst, W. (2004). Flowering Plants of Ascension island: 1-300. Higham Press, Shirland, Alfreton, England.
    • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Turner, I.M. (1995 publ. 1997). A catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Malaya Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 47(2): 347-655.
    • Friedmann, F. (1994). Flore des Seychelles Dicotylédones: 1-663. ORSTOM éditions.
    • George, A.S., Orchard, A.E. & Hewson, H.J. (eds.) (1993). Oceanic islands 2 Flora of Australia 50: 1-606. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Wester, L. (1985). Checklist of the vasular plants of the Northern Line Islands Atoll Research Bulletin 287: 1-38.
    • Morat, P. & Veillon, J.-M. (1985). Contributions à la conaissance de la végétation et de la flore de Wallis et Futuna Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. Section B, Adansonia 7: 259-329.

    Literature

    Kew Species Profiles
    • de Kok, R.P.J. (2007). The genus Vitex L. in New Guinea and the South Pacific Islands. Kew Bull. 62: 587-603.
    • Mabberley, D.J. & de Kok, R.P.J. (2004). Labiatae. In: P. Morat & H.S. Mackee, Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances, vol. 25: 20-141.
    • Wagner, W.L., Herbst, D.R. & Sohmer, S.H. (1999). Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai’i 2nd Edn, vol 2. Bishop Museum, Honolulu.
    • Sunarno, B. (1995). Vitex L. In: Lemmens, R.H.M.J., Soerianegara, I., Wong, W. C. (eds). Plant Resources of South-East Asia. Timber trees: Minor Commercial Timbers. Backhuys, Leiden.
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Baksh-Comeau, Y., Maharaj, S.S., Adams, C.D., Harris, S.A., Filer, D.L. & Hawthorne, W.D. (2016). An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical 'hotspots' Phytotaxa 250: 1-431.
    • Hammel, B.E., Grayum, M.H., Herrera, C. & Zamora, N. (eds.) (2015). Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Volumen VIII. Dicotyledóneas (Sabiaceae-Zygophyllaceae) Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 131: 1-657.
    • Davidse, G. & al. (eds.) (2012). Flora Mesoamericana 4(2): 1-533. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (2006). Flora of Somalia 3: 1-626. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Fairhurst, W. (2004). Flowering Plants of Ascension island: 1-300. Higham Press, Shirland, Alfreton, England.
    • Turner, I.M., Xing, F. & Corlett, R.T. (2000). An annotated check-list of the vascular plants of the South China Sea and its shores The Raffles bulletin of Zoology, Suppl. 8: 23-116.
    • Thaman, R.R., Fosberg, F.R., Manner, H.I. & Hassall, D.C. (1994). The Flora of Nauru Atoll Research Bulletin 392: 1-223.
    • Friedmann, F. (1994). Flore des Seychelles Dicotylédones: 1-663. ORSTOM éditions.
    • George, A.S., Orchard, A.E. & Hewson, H.J. (eds.) (1993). Oceanic islands 2 Flora of Australia 50: 1-606. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
    • Fosberg, F.R. & Sachet, M.-H. (1987). Flora of the Gilbert Island, Kiribati, Checklist Atoll Research Bulletin 295: 1-33.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Singhakumara, The Biology of Vitex in Sri Lanka, D.Phil. thesis, Oxford (unpublished).
    • Moldenke in Rev. Fl. Ceylon 4: 378 (1983).
    • Alston in Handb. Fl. Ceylon 6: 232 (1931).
    • Trimen, Handb. Fl. Ceylon 3: 356 (1895).
    • C.B. Cl. in Fl. Brit India 4: 583 (1885).
    • L., Sp. Pl.: 638 (1753), as “trifoliis”.

    Sources

    Art and Illustrations in Digifolia
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Species Profiles
    Kew Species Profiles
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0