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Vitex lucens, Puriri, New Zealand Chaste tree

Vitex lucens

Puriri, New Zealand Chaste tree
Family: Lamiaceae    (Formerly:Verbenaceae)
Origin: New Zealand
USDA Zone: 9-11?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapBig tree taller than 20 ftSemi-shadeFull sunOrnamental foliagePink flowersPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds

The name Chaste tree for this species comes from a species of southern Europe,Vitex agnus-castus, where it was treated by ancients as a symbol of chastity and long ago discussed in this regard by Pliny the Elder. Puriri does not mean that the species from New Zealand is pure, but coincidentally a tree along the coast near the Bay of Plenty is treated as sacred by the Maori people; they claim that the remains of important ancestors repose in large cavities within its roots.

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