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You are here: Home / Plants / Species Profiles / Beach Vitex
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Species Profiles

Beach Vitex

Beach VitexScientific name: Vitex rotundifolia L. f.

Common names: Beach vitex, chasteberry, roundleaf chastetree, Monk’s pepper

Click image to enlarge

Coastal Communities in the Carolinas Turn the Tide Against 'Beach Kudzu' (Aug 3, 2011)
Weed Science Society of America.
Just a decade ago, sand dunes, native plants and wildlife along some of the most popular beaches in the Carolinas were under attack by beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) - a highly invasive plant nicknamed "beach kudzu". Today, though, the tide has turned thanks to the Beach Vitex Task Force, a unique public-private partnership established to fight the weed.

Native To: Asia (Olsen and Bell 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1989-1990 (Olsen and Bell 2005)

Images: Invasive.org and Google

Video: North Carolina Sea Grant (or click Play button below)

Means of Introduction: Introduced for erosion control (Olsen and Bell 2005)

Impact: Crowds out native species and may destroy sea turtle nesting habitat (Cousins et al. 2010)

Current U.S. Distribution:

U.S. States and U.S.National Parks Where Reported Invasive: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States map

Management Plans: Plants

Selected Internet Resources:

Federal Government

Vitex rotundifolia
Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Taxonomy

"Kudzu of the Beach" - Environmental Update (2004)
DOD. Army Corp of Engineers.
Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution

Vitex rotundifolia Article Citation Search - AGRICOLA Database
USDA. National Agricultural Library.
Research; Special Note: NAL Catalog Search (resources)

Vitex rotundifolia - Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.
Taxonomy

Plant profile for Vitex rotundifolia - PLANTS Database
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.
Taxonomy; Distribution

Life's a Beach
DOI. United States Geological Survey.
Photographs; Impacts; Dispersion

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State Government

Beach Vitex
Hilton Head Island Municipal Government.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts

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University/Academic

Identifying & Managing Beach Vitex
Clemson University Extension. Home and Garden Information Center.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Controls

Beach Vitex - Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Distribution

Beach Vitex - Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth
Mississippi State University. GeoResources Institute.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Introduction History; Impacts; Habitat; Distribution; Dispersion; Controls; Legal Aspects

Beach Vitex: Kudzu of the Coast? - Coastwatch (2006)
North Carolina Sea Grant.
Introduction History; Impacts; Distribution; Controls

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International

Vitex rotundifolia (shrub) - ISSG Global Invasive Species Database
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Taxonomy; Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Life Cycle; Habitat; Distribution; Controls

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Organizations

Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force
Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Distribution

Vitex rotundifolia - Plants of Hawaii
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk.
Photographs

Hawaiian Plant Threatens South Carolina Dunes (PDF | 112 KB)
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Identification/Description; Photographs; Impacts; Habitat; Controls

Citations

Cousins, M.C., J. Briggs, C. Gresham, J. Whetstone, and T. Whitwell. 2010. Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia): An Invasive Coastal Species (PDF | 1.1 MB). Invasive Plant Science and Management 3:340–345.

Olsen, R.T. and A.C. Bell. 2005. History of beach vitex cultivation: a potential invasive ornamental (PDF | 418 KB). Pages 531–533 in Proceedings of the 50th Annual Southern Nursery Association Research Conference. Atlanta, GA: Southern Nursery Association.

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Last Modified: Mar 16, 2014
 
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