Known as "beach kudzu," vitex has now been outlawed by state officials.
"Rules to ban the sale, transport and possession of beach vitex by nurseries, garden shops and private property owners passed their final regulatory hurdle on Thursday.
"The plant will be officially added to the state’s 'noxious weed' list on Feb. 1," says the Star-News of Wilmington.
Fast-growing, salt-tolerant, disliked by animals and sporting a beautiful purple flower during the summer, vitex was marketed as a coastal landscaping plant by N.C. State University in the 1980s.
But vitex started worrying researchers earlier this decade when it began overtaking dunes, crowding out the native sea oats and sea grasses. ...
Beach vitex, beside being a prolific seed producer, also can grow up to 15 feet a year – a characteristic that has earned the plant the moniker of “kudzu of the coast.”