Vitex quinata (Lour.) F.N.Williams

First published in Bull. Herb. Boissier, sér. 2, 5: 431 (1905)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Caroline Islands. It is a tree and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome.


de Kok, R. (2008). The genus Vitex (Labiatae) in the Flora Malesiana region, excluding New Guinea. Kew Bulletin 63: 17.

New Guinea north to South China and west to India. New Guinea via Indonesia and Philippines to South China and India.
Primary to secondary forest or more rarely in submontane forest, often in swamps or periodically inundated areas. Soil: stony to sandy or loamy clay, sometimes over limestone, at 10 – 470 (– 1000) m altitude. Flowering from May to December; fruiting from July to April. Lowland primary to secondary rainforest on (stony to sandy) clay or limestone at 10 - 470 m altitude.
The leaves of Vitex quinata can vary enormously in texture throughout its range. Usually the leaves have an herbaceous texture, which is very similar to most other species of Vitex. However, populations do exist that have much more leathery leaves. These populations are usually in areas with a more monsoonal type of climate. The name of V. padangensis Hallier f. is based on examples of the latter type from Sumatra. Vitex buddingii Moldenke is based on a specimen with an inflorescence without any flowers or fruits; despite this, given the location and the shape of the inflorescence it clearly is part of V. quinata. This species differs from the widespread Vitex cofassus in having usually palmate leaves, calyces that are as velutinous as the inflorescence apex, and a corolla lip with a truncated apex. Vitex cofassus always has an unifoliolate leaf, calyces that are clearly less hairy than the inflorescence, and a corolla lip that is clearly emarginate. The indumentum character can sometimes be difficult to interpret when dealing with old inflorescences. Some specimens (e.g., Mair, April 1945) only have one leaflet per leaf and are then very reminiscent of V. cofassus. However, they have all the other above-mentioned characters in common with V. quinata, and are therefore better placed in this species.
[China, Canton] Canto Sinar, Loureiro s.n. (holotype P [picture seen]).
Morphology General Habit
Tree (4-)6- 30 m high, bole (4-)7- 21 m high; 10 -150 cm DBH; buttresses, if present, up to 1.5 m high and up to 1 m in diameter
Morphology General Bark
Bark flaky, light to grey brown, slash straw to cream yellow; sapwood pale ochre; heartwood yellow to light brown; exudates colourless or ochre, little
Morphology Leaves
Leaf (1 -) 3 - 5 palmate, elliptic to narrowly elliptic, central leaflet 7 - 15 x 3 - 5.6 cm, ratio 2.3 - 2.6; side leaflets 3.8 - 9 x 1.7 - 3.7 cm, ratio 2.2 - 4.5, glabrous to veins covered with appressed hairs, base cuneate to oblique, apex acuminate, margin entire; lower surface covered with many orange glands; venation pinnate, 5 - 14 main side veins, prominent beneath, sunken above
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petiole 2 - 11 cm long, round in cross-section to latterly flattened, glabrous to covered with minute curly hairs, petiolules 1 - 3 cm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence terminal, paniculate, 15 - 27 cm long, angular in cross-section; hairs dense to moderate, appressed, simple; bracteoles scale-like, triangular to linear, up to 4 mm long, velutinous, usually persistent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 5-lobed, lobes clearly developed, lobes up to 0.8 mm long, persistent, accrescent; hairs dense, appressed, simple; glands many, orange; flowering calyx 2 - 3 mm diameter, erect; fruiting calyx 4.5 - 6 mm diameter, patent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 5-lobed, covered outside with appressed hairs, base glabrous, violet to white; glands few, orange to mauve; lip 2 - 6 x 2.5 - 4 mm, patent, spathulate, apex round to acute, margin crenulate, hairs appressed, pale blue with faint honey mark; side lobes 2 - 3 x 1 - 3 mm, patent, apex rotund to acute; back lobes 2 - 3 x 1.5 - 2.5 mm, erect; fused up to 10 - 50% of length, apex round to oblique; tube 5 - 6 mm long, infundibular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Filaments
Filaments 4 - 6 mm long, slightly didamous, glabrous, except for tuft of erect simple multicellular hairs at base, inserted halfway on the corolla tube, slightly to clearly exceeding the corolla tube; anther c. 1 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 1 - 1.2 x 1 - 1.2 mm, globose, glabrous; glands, absent to few
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style 4.5 - 11 mm long, glabrous; stigma 2-lobed, lobes c. 0.1 mm long, apex acuminate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit: fresh unknown; dried 6 - 8 x 4.5 - 6 mm, clavoid, smooth, deep purple to black
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 4 (or fewer by abortion) per fruit
Morphology General Wood
For an anatomical description of the wood, see Fundter & Wisse (1977)
A detailed description of the seedling is given in Burger (1972).
Flowering from June to Dec.; fruiting from June to Oct.
Not threatened.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

LC - least concern

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E.

Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

VU - vulnerable


On the Indonesia island of Halmahera, the bark is mashed in cold water and used against lice (de Vogel 4394).


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