Vitex lignum-vitae

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Vitex lignum-vitaeFamily: Lamiaceae
Genus: Vitex
Common names: Lignum-vitae, Yellow hollywood
ALA reference

There are about half a dozen Vitex lignum-vitae trees in the bushland. The trees are fairly easy to identify with their relatively smooth light brown bark, fluted trunks and dark glossy green leaves. It seems that the centres of these trees can rot fairly easily as two of the larger trees have holes right through the trunk at ground level. However this does not seem to affect their vigour in any way. The photo shows a young seedling surrounded by fallen fruit. The oddly shaped leaves are quite characteristic of the seedlings but very different from the adult leaves. Because of their pointed leaves the seedlings are very easy to recognise. (July 2010)

If you have been for a walk through the reserve recently you might have seen these bright pink/red fruit on the ground. They have fallen from the Vitex lignum-vitae trees of which there are about half a dozen in the bushland. One large tree has a stem diameter of about 60cm but was severely damaged by the Cat’s Claw creeper and 12 months ago I didn’t think it was going to survive. Fortunately with the removal of the Cat’s Claw and the recent rains it is now looking much healthier and seems to be on the road to recovery. The trees are fairly easy to identify with their relatively smooth light brown bark, fluted trunks and dark glossy green leaves. (November 2007)

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