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Department of Botany

Since 1980

Vitex negundo L.



   Botanical NameVitex negundo L.
   SynonymsAgnus-castus negundo. (L.) carriere; Vitex agnus-castus var. negundo (L.) Kuntze
   Common NameEnglish : Pagoda tree / Tamil : Kallimandharai, Malai Arali
   DistributionGlobal : Indo-Malesia, China, Africa and America.
Indian: Throughout India
   DescriptionSmall deciduous tree or bushy shrub up to 6-7m height, Bark thin, greyish brown to white, branchlets terete, young branches slightly pubescent. Leaves palmately compound, 3-5 foliate, leaf lets lanceolate to elliptic, margin entire or slightly serrate, dark green, apex acuminate, petiole stout and slender. Inflorescence terminal panicles, dichotomously or trichotomously branched. Flower small, bracteate, pentamerous, zygomorphic, bisexual, fragrant, hypogynous, complete. Calyx campanulate, sepals 5 toothed, tip acute, purplish stripes inside, Corolla, petals 5, united, 2 lipped, blue, or purplish blue or lavender, upper lip light blue colour, lower lip dark purple with yellow tinge. Stamens 4, dydenomous, exerted, filament slender, anther light brown oblong. Ovary bicarpellary, 2 celled, ovoid, glabrous, style slender, stigma bilobed, subulate. Fruit drupaceous, ovoid, green, black when ripe, seed small.
   Flowering Fruiting periodJune - August/ Novemeber - December
   UsesCultivated throughout tropical, seeds used as condiments, Planted in social forestry and young stem used in making baskets.
   Medicinal UsesThe aromatic leaves of astringent, febrifuge, sedative and tonic. Stem used in the treatment of burns and scald. Plant is malarial preventive and used in the treatment of bacterial infections and other microbial infections.
   Tamil NameNocchi