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Vitex pinnata - L.

Common Name Keleban
Family Lamiaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Comparatively dry regions in lowland forest, especially in more open habitats, secondary forests and river banks. Occurs gregariously in secondary forest and is a pioneer species in Imperata cylindrica vegetation and recently burnt grasslands[303 ].
Range E. Asia - Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Vitex pinnata Keleban

Vitex pinnata Keleban


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Vitex pinnata is an evergreen Tree growing to 20 m (65ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Pistaciovitex pinnata (L.) Kuntze Vitex arborea Roxb. Vitex articulata Steud. Vitex bracteata Horsf.


Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Febrifuge  Poultice

A decoction of the bark is used to treat stomach-ache[303 ]. A poultice of the leaves is used to treat fevers and wounds[303 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Charcoal  Fuel  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: The tree has been used in replanting schemes to reclaim imperata grasslands in Asia[303 ]. It is one of the recommended trees in its native range for planting as a shade tree[303 ]. Other Uses The yellow-brown to dark-brown wood is fine-grained, heavy, very hard and durable[46 , 303 , 652 ]. The timber, though not commercially important due to its small dimensions, is favoured locally for construction, household goods, tool handles, boats and implements[46 , 303 ]. The wood produces a high quality charcoal that is compatible and competitive with mangrove charcoal in international markets[303 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Vitex pinnata is common in comparatively dry regions in lowland forest, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 590 - 1,500mm, and the mean annual temperature 20 - 32°c[303 ]. Young trees grow moderately slowly, with a mean annual diameter increment of 0.6 cm and slightly over 1 cm in Myanmar and Java respectively. One year-old seedlings may reach 2 metres in height, mean annual height increment for the first 15 years after planting is about 1 metre[303 ]. Planted trees start to flower after 11 - 12 years in Java[303 ]. Planting should be done early in the rainy season. Generally at m x 3 metres , occasionally at 1 x 1 - 2 metres on very fertile soils[303 ]. For charcoal production, stands planted at densities of 2,500 trees/ha have yielded 16 - 18 tonnes of charcoal in 4 years[303 ]. Moderately fire resistant[303 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - pre-soaking the seeds for 15 seconds in hot water stimulates and increases germination[303 ]. Seeds start to germinate 10 - 40 days after sowing with a germination rate of 60 - 80%[303 ]. Seed can be stored for 1 year after depulping[303 ]. Under dense forest canopy germination is completely inhibited, but the seeds remain dormant and viable for more than 6 months. Seed under light shade differentiates into 2 fractions: one with seeds germinating within 2 months, the other with seeds remaining dormant and only germinating when exposed to full sunlight[303 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here


Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Bangladesh; Cambodia; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Philippines; Singapore; Sri Lanka; Thailand; Viet Nam

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Vitex agnus-castusAgnus Castus, Lilac chastetree, Vitex, ChastetreeShrub3.0 7-9 MLMNDM253
Vitex cannabifolia Shrub3.0 -  LMNDM021
Vitex donianaBlack PlumTree15.0 10-12 MLMHSNM434
Vitex keniensisFulu, Mkombachiko, MufuuTree25.0 10-12 FLMNM204
Vitex madiensisEkarukei, MurukukweTree4.0 10-12 MLMHNM423
Vitex negundoHuang Ping, Chinese chastetree, Cut Leaf Vitex, Cut-leaf ChastetreeShrub3.0 6-9 MLMNDM232
Vitex payosChocolate BerryTree8.0 10-12 MLMHNDM422

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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