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Photos: Bramley, G.; de Kok, R.

Photos: Bramley, G.

Photos: Bramley, G.

Photos: Bramley, G.

Subfamily

II. Subfam. Viticoideae Briq. in Engler & Prantl (1895).

Description

Trees or shrubs; leaves usually digitately compound with 3-8 leaflets but sometimes unifoliolate, sometimes in whorls; inflorescence axillary or terminal, a dichasial cyme, sometimes compound into a thyrse or panicle, flower blue, yellow, white to purple; calyx campanulate or tubular, 3-5-lobed, or truncate, actinomorphic to weakly 2-lipped; corolla infundibular, zygomorphic, 5-lobed, 2-lipped, tube straight or curved; stamens 4, didynamous, attached near base of tube; usually exserted, thecae dorsifixed, divergent; pollen 3-colpate; ovary bicarpellate, carpels 2-locular and 2-seeded; style terminal with stigma-lobes short, equal; fruit drupaceous, with hard pyrene, 4-seeded.  2n = 12, 16.  Approximately 250 species, in Old and New World tropics, few in temperate regions.

Distribution

Native to:

12 Southwestern Europe
13 Southeastern Europe
14 Eastern Europe
20 Northern Africa
22 West Tropical Africa
23 West-Central Tropical Africa
24 Northeast Tropical Africa
25 East Tropical Africa
26 South Tropical Africa
27 Southern Africa
29 Western Indian Ocean
32 Middle Asia
33 Caucasus
34 Western Asia
35 Arabian Peninsula
36 China
38 Eastern Asia
40 Indian Subcontinent
41 Indo-China
42 Malesia
43 Papuasia
50 Australia
51 New Zealand
60 Southwestern Pacific
79 Mexico
80 Central America
81 Caribbean
82 Northern South America
83 Western South America
84 Brazil
85 Southern South America

Introduced to:

76 Southwestern U.S.A.
77 South-Central U.S.A.
78 Southeastern U.S.A.

Present, but doubtfully native in:

61 South-Central Pacific
62 Northwestern Pacific
63 North-Central Pacific

Synonyms

Mailelou Adans., Fam. Pl. 2: 200 (1763).

Limia Vand., Fl. Lusit. Bras. Spec.: 42 (1788).

Allasia Lour., Fl. Cochinch.: 84 (1790).

Nephrandra Willd., Cothen. Disp. Veg.: 8 (1790).

Tripinna Lour., Fl. Cochinch.: 391 (1790).

Chrysomallum Thouars, Gen. Nov. Madagasc.: 8 (1806).

Tripinnaria Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 173 (1807), nom. superfl.

Pyrostoma G.Mey., Prim. Fl. Esseq.: 219 (1818).

Wallrothia Roth, Nov. Pl. Sp.: 317 (1821).

Ephialis Banks & Sol. ex A.Cunn., Ann. Nat. Hist. 1: 461 (1838).

Psilogyne DC., Biblioth. Universelle Genève 17: 132 (1838).

Casarettoa Walp., Repert. Bot. Syst. 4: 91 (1844).

Macrostegia Nees in A.P.de Candolle, Prodr. 11: 218 (1847).

Rapinia Montrouz., Mem. Acad. Roy. Sci. Lyon, Sect. Lett. 10: 243 (1860), nom. illeg.

Agnus-castus Tourn. ex Carrière, Rev. Hort. 42: 415 (1871).

Varangevillea Baill., Hist. Pl. 11: 116 (1892).

Pistaciovitex Kuntze in T.E.von Post & C.E.O.Kuntze, Lex. Gen. Phan.: 442 (1903).

Neorapinia Moldenke, Phytologia 5: 225 (1955).

Publication

Vitex L., Sp. Pl. 2: 638 (1753); Munir, J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 10(1): 31-80 (1987), reg. rev. 

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Species found in RBG Kew living collections

2007-1637 Vitex N SNGF   TRO_N  
2002-273 Vitex agnus-castus L. N RASU 24273  757  
1969-50673 Vitex agnus-castus L. f. alba (H.West) Rehder    F 155 03 
2004-1851 Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia  COBL   111 06 
1989-1275 Vitex altissima L.f. N SINB 2VA24 F PH 4 
1968-771 Vitex cannabifolia  KASU  P 135 01 
1997-5944 Vitex lucens Kirk N AUCK  F TH 5   :  TRO_N SEED 
1925-505 Vitex negundo L.  VEIT  F 416 02 
1988-4812 Vitex negundo L. N SICH 234 F 416 04 
2007-1628 Vitex pervillei  N SNGF   TRO_N 9 
2003-3977 Vitex rotundifolia  N SADO 152  ARB_N  
1975-514 Vitex trifolia L. var. simplicifolia Cham. N BULR 10 F TRO_N 11 

Image resource

© Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew