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Teak is considered a very valuable wood because of its ability to withstand weather. It even prevents any metal used in it from rusting. Teak is very stable, which means that it does not warp when subjected to variations in humidity and temperature. According to Ayurveda, wood is acrid, cooling, laxative, sedative to gravid uterus and useful in treatment of piles, leucoderma and dysentery. Flowers are acrid, bitter and dry and useful in bronchitis, biliousness, urinary discharges etc. Roots are useful in treatment of urinary system related troubles. According to Unani system of medicine, the oil from flower is hair promoter and useful in scabies. Wood is good for headache, biliousness, burning sensation and pain and liver related troubles. It allays thirst and possess anthelmintic and expectorant properties. Wood is used for ship building, railways, piles in harbour, bridge-building, construction work, furniture and cabinet work. Leaves yield dye, which is used for dyeing cotton and wool. It prefers no competition, so for the first few years, it has to be cleared of weeds and kept from being shaded. After about three years, the trees are large enough to shade out competing vegetation. Teak requires very good drainage and rich soil. It prefers a dry season of about three months.
Chaste tree carries several 'sacred' names, which more or less directly refer to its reputation as an anaphrodisiac. In ancient Greece, the tree was called hagnos 'chaste', which apparently the early Christians confused with Latin agnus 'lamb', the Christian symbol of purity. Under the name agnus castus 'chaste lamb', the plants was often used among Christian monks as a help against the evils of the more fleshy desires. The chaste tree is a beautiful little deciduous tree or large shrub with a showy summertime flower display. When it's blooming, due to the similarity of the flowers, the chaste tree is sometimes mistaken for Butterfly Bush (Buddleja). The chaste tree is a sprawling plant that grows 10-20 ft and about as wide. Branched flower clusters are produced on new wood in late spring and early summer in a great flush that makes the tree look like a hazy purple cloud. Flowers are followed by a fleshy fruit that contains four seeds that are sometimes used as seasoning, similar to black pepper. Easy to grow in almost any soil that has good drainage! Even tolerant of salt drift. The chaste tree can take care of itself, but can be pushed to faster growth with light applications of fertilizer in spring and early summer and by mulching around the plant. If pruning is desired to control the size, it should be done in winter, since blooms form on new wood. It is hardly ever disturbed by pests or disease but is susceptible to mushroom root, rot and nematodes.
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.
Vitex negundo, commonly known as the five-leaved chaste tree, is a large aromatic shrub with quadrangular, densely whitish, tomentose branchlets. It is widely used in folk medicine, particularly in South and Southeast Asia.
Vitex rotundifolia is a sprawling shrub 6 to 8 feet in diameter and 6 inches to 2 feet tall, but reaching 4 feet in height and 12 feet in width when protected from wind and salt spray. The round leaves are gray-green to silvery and 1 to 2 inches long. The foliage has a spicy fragrance. Vitex rotundifolia occurs on coastal sites such as sandy beaches, rocky shores, and dunes.
Prefers full sun; soil should be moist.
A medium size, fast growing bush with woody stems and dense soft foliage that can be either variegated or has a sharp white trim around the leaf. Pretty blue flowers from spring to fall. Can be used as a hedge or a specimen plant. Attracts lots of butterflies and bees.