I wish you could see this in person. Imagine purplish-grayish leaves smothered in lavender-blue flowers that are in turn decorated with pollinators galore.
This is a jump-up-and-down-gotta-have-it plant, so stop skimming and slow down to read about Flip Side chastetree.
The upper-sides of the leaves are dark olive-greenish early in the season with a whiff of mauve on the leaf petioles and young stems, but they turn purplish grayish in high summer until fall color sets in. Fall color is pumpkin!
The kicker is when the daytime summer breezes flip them over a little bit and cause them to wave these purple flashes at you. I'm trying to say that the Flip Side is purple and when the wind blows you do actually get to see the purple coloration. It's showy and colorful and the shrub "reads" purple in the garden.
The flowers are the ones I have trouble determining what color they are - I think they are lavender-blue, much like the color of rosemary or lavender flowers. Whatever exact color they are, the flowers look great against the purplish foliage and this plant has some heavy pollinator attractors going on.
You will see a lot of bee and butterfly activity and this will last for weeks because Flip Side chastetree is not modest with its flowers.
You will likely not see deer activity—Vitex are known to be avoided by deer because of the strong flavor.
In January 2019 Flip Side won "Best Novelty Plant" at IPM Essen in Germany. We were able to go to this show several years ago and it was over-the-top in remarkable plants and extravagant booth design. This is truly an honor from the best horticulture trade show in the world.
Yes, this is the shrub featured in Fine Gardening magazine, June 2019, as a best new shub for the year
Flip Side chastetree is a hybrid between Vitex trifolia 'Purpurea' and Vitex agnus-castus. Hybrids between two species are often sterile and Flip Side falls in line—the fruit was proven to be sterile by repeated germination trials. Nothing germinated. You can rest assured there will be no seedlings underfoot.
Vitex Flip Side is another First Editions® plant developed in Georgia. A related type is Vitex agnus-castus Delta Blues.
castetree, Flip Side castetree
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
- Spring: dark green
- Summer: dark green, purple
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Soil Moisture Requirements
average garden, moist-but-draining, dry, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
full sun, part shade
To Make It Thrive
Grow Vitex Flip Side in full sun in a warm climate. It flowers best in full sun.