A member of the mint family, the chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a medicinal herb native to the Mediterranean, with a height of 2 to 3 meters, a wide-growing habit and fragrant palmately compound leaves. Blooming from bottom to top between July and September, the purple, light violet, pink or deep blue flowers are arranged in spikes, excellent as both dried and cut flowers.
The chaste tree is a rather popular ornamental shrub thanks to its impressive foliage, late blooming season and anti-mosquito effect. Used by medieval monks as an anaphrodisiac (hence its common name), it was found in almost all monastery gardens, where the seeds also served as a spice. Ever since the 17th century, it has been used in folk medicine for easing women’s problems and enhancing lactation. The alcoholic extract made from the leaves, rich in alkaloids, steroids, terpenoids and flavonoids, has antibacterial effects.
Come check our our gorgeous chaste tree, sill in full blooming glory, between the Africa Panorama and Red-necked Wallaby Enclosures.
Debrecen Zoo and Amusement Park