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A deciduous shrub up to 10 ft high. Leaves digitate, with three to seven, usually five, stalked leaflets, which are elliptic or narrow-elliptic or oblong to lanceolate, acute to acuminate at the apex, cuneate at the base, 25⁄8 to 4 in. long, 5⁄8 to 13⁄16 in. wide, margin entire or with a few large blunt lobule-like teeth. Inflorescence a loose panicle terminating the shoots of the year and made up of several spikes 6 to 9 in. long, along which the flowers are arranged in rather distant clusters. Calyx downy, deeply and sharply lobed. Corolla violet-blue, rather smaller than in V. agnus-castus.
V. negundo is widely distributed from India and Ceylon to China and Formosa, commonly in waste places near villages. Although cultivated in Europe since the 17th century, it has always been rare in Britain, where it is usually represented by the following variety:
V. incisa Lam.
V. negundo var. incisa (Lam.) C.B.Cl.
V. chinensis Mill.
V. incisa var. heterophylla Franch