Hackfalls Arboretum – Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

Saturday, 2012 March 3

Vitex agnus-castus

Filed under: Oak Paddock,Vitex agnus-castus — Dick Bos @ 6:00 pm

Ever heard of Vitex agnus-castus, the chaste tree? It’s from southern Europe. Yeah. Wikipedia gives the answers, again (although there is nothing like a botanical description of the species in the lemma, and the section “garden description” is still empty): already Pliny the Elder named it!

Vitex agnus-castus at Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

There is one in the oak paddock of our arboretum! It’s growing quite wild in all directions. Does it need any pruning? It’s one of the few trees that are flowering now. The flowers remind us a little bit of Buddleja.

Vitex agnus-castus at Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

The shrub has very old associations with chastity. In ancient Greece and Rome women used the flowers for adornment, and as a symbol of chastity. In the Middle Ages monks chewed the berries to make it easier to maintain their celibacy. Well. The berries are not ripe yet, and I do not live in the Middle Ages…….

Vitex agnus-castus at Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

We’ll just enjoy the shrub for it’s beauty.

Vitex agnus-castus at Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

Vitex agnus-castus at Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto, Gisborne NZ

Thursday, 2012 February 9

Call for assistance

Filed under: Help me find a name,Oak Paddock — Dick Bos @ 4:21 pm

In the Oak Paddock we have a large number of different trees and shrubs. Most of them are properly labelled by now, but there are some that don’t have a label. Every now and then we manage to find the right name for an unlabeled tree or shrub, but here is one that I don’t recognize.
The shrub is about one metre high, and I think it may be somewhere between 10 and 20 years old. It has beautiful blue and white flowers.
It grows on the side of the hill below the garage.
If you know the name, please let me know.

unknown shrub, Oak Paddock, Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto Gisborne NZ

don’t mind the blue rope around the stem. It’s just to point out that it has no label!

unknown shrub, Oak Paddock, Hackfalls Arboretum, Tiniroto Gisborne NZ

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