Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blue Grow the Lilacs

With the promise of Spring in the air, I find myself daydreaming about spring flowers and plants for our yard and patio.

Today I'd like to share one of my favorite landscaping plants — the Lilac Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-catus). We have one in our courtyard, and during the summer its bright bluish-lavender flowers add a "coolness" to the landscaping.

It is a perennial and needs to be cut back during the winter months, or early spring. Here is the way our tree usually looks around the first of April ...

The flowers grow in 6"-12" spikes, and our tree blooms two or three times during the summer months.

A word of caution: Bumblebees love this plant, and will even spend the night on the flowers. However, when I took this picture, they were too busy gathering pollen to bother me.

To learn more about the Lilac Chaste Tree, you can click on the link to read an article by Southern Living magazine's "Grumpy Gardener."

If you live in the South, I think you would enjoy one of these colorful trees somewhere in your yard or garden.


racheld said...

I've been in love with lilacs since all the New England-based lit I read as a child---they seemed to be the ONLY flower in a lot of the stories, and the romance of those fragrant purple blooms---they just captured me.

We had an enormous Vitex in the back yard, and I always thought of it as a Candelabra plant, with the little pointy branches of blossoms.

What a lovely breath of Spring these photos are!! Though the snow is almost melted, we still need the bright colors of the blooms to do us til Spring.

Deb said...

so pretty...I'm getting spring fever...