Vitex trifolia L.

Etymology Genus An ancient name used by Pliny possibly for the Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus-castus
Species Leaf with three leaflets
Family Lamiaceae
Synonyms Poinciana regia Hook.
Common Names Hand of Mary
Status Exotic: Casual
Form Shrub
Native Distribution Temperate and tropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands


Vitex trifolia is a shrub commonly seen cultivated in gardens and occasionally growing wild. It can be identified from its trifoliate leaves, with their leaflets sessile (except for the mid leaflet which has a hardly noticeable stalk). The colour of the leaves ais smokey green on top, and white underneath.

Interesting Facts:

The Hand of Mary has been recorded from Singapore as early as 1892 (Singapore Herbarium Online, 2012). It was described as a weed in gardens and villages at coastal areas (Keng et al., 1998).

Shrubby form of the Hand of Mary.

Leaf arrangement

Trifoliate and oppositely arranged leaves.

Whitish underside.




Keng H, SC Chin & HTW Tan. (1998) The Concise Flora of Singapore. Volume II: Monocotyledons. Singapore University Press, Singapore. 215 pp.
Singapore Herbarium Online. (2012) Singapore Herbarium Online. Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. Accessed on 14-Jun-2014.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2014-06-14 / Modified: 2017-12-25