Vitex agnus-castus


Chaste tree, monk's pepper                                                                           Λυγιά


Lamiaceae - mint family                                                                         Dicot.

 
 

The chaste tree is widespread throughout Greece, often flowering after most other plants have died back for the summer. It is found from the edge of the beach to the fields and olive groves, where it needs controlling. The flowers which are arranged in pyramidal spikes are very attractive to butterflies and large black bees. They vary in colour form pale pink to deep purple. It occurs as trees or bushes with palmate leaves with narrow leaflets.

The fruit and seeds are used to make medicine for "women's complaints" and the common name reflects the idea that the plant induces chastity.It is said to have been sprinkled on monk's food in the Middle Ages food

and gives rise to the alternative name of monk's pepper.

 

10cm8-15cm 20-40cm W                                        JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

"The ancient Greeks believed that the scent of it's leaves and flowers, was an 'anti-aphrodisiac', hence the name."   Lawrence Durrell. Reflections on a Marine Venus.

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