We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It is sort-of like Butterfly Bush, but in the northeast it lives mostly as a large perennial which often needs to re-emerge from the roots after a chilly winter, growing to 3'. Further south, it can become a large shrub/small tree.
It seems to be a very popular border plant on Cape Cod. It is a Mediterranean plant. I like it, and so do bees and butterflies.
Got quite a few of these. Water them enough and fertilize once in a while and they will grow to a 20 ft+ in height and circumference, umbrella-shaped thicket-type bush with lots of pretty trunks. Reminds me of lilacs, although without that delicate fragrance. You have to prune them though, to thin out the deadwood, suckers and new canes. Great for blocking late-afternoon sun while still allowing a good view.
Vitex are exceedingly popular in Texas for several reasons. Once established, they are drought and heat tolerant and, as is clear from the original post, aren't bothered by an occasional cold winter. They will grow in sun or shade and don't mind bad soil. And they are one of the very few plants that our deer truly will not eat, even during the current drought.
Three existing vitex were at our house when we moved in 2.5 years ago. We have never watered or fertilized them. They are about 15 feet tall; the tops are just outside the upstairs window. They are at least 6 feet in diameter. We don't know when they were planted, but they are 13 years old max.
We've planted 10 more vitex along the fence lines as screen plants. It took them 2 years to get established but they've really taken off this year. Since these plants are in full sun and still getting started, we do water them occasionally when it's in the 100s and rainless (as it has been for a month or more).
On top of all those wonderful qualities, our hummingbirds love the blossoms.
I have what I always thought was a lilac bush. I remember that it was labeled as lilac when I bought it. But, when comparing pictures it looks more like the Vitex. I'll have to double check the blooms this evening.
Ours grows 15' and probably more if I didn't trim it every couple years. It's a tiny universe of insects all summer long.