Ligustrum obtusifolium
WARNING: LOCALLY INVASIVE SPECIES
Common Name: border privet
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Oleaceae
Native Range: Japan, Korea, China
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 10.00 to 12.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Good Fall
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Drought
This plant is listed as an exotic invasive species to Missouri and the Midwest by the Midwest Invasive Plant Network. The species should not be planted in the Midwest.

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, except wet ones. Tolerant of urban conditions. Prune as needed immediately after flowering. If flowering is not a consideration, prune in spring. Hedges are also commonly trimmed 1-2 times in summer. Plants will naturalize by self-seeding in optimum growing conditions, and may form thickets in areas where growth is not controlled.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ligustrum obtusifolium, commonly called border privet, is a fast-growing, deciduous shrub that typically grows 10-12’ tall but spreads to 15’ wide with dense, often arching, horizontal branching. It is winter hardy to USDA Zone 3, and is perhaps the most commonly grown privet in northern parts of the U. S. Elliptic to oblong-obovate, glossy, dark green leaves (to 2.5” long) have hairy midribs beneath. Leaves may acquire attractive purple tones in fall. Small, tubular, white flowers in nodding panicles (to 1.5” long) bloom at stem tips in June. Flowers are fragrant, but are considered by many to have an unpleasant aroma. Flowers give way to globe-shaped drupes which ripen to dull black in fall and persist into winter.

Genus name comes from the Latin word for privet.

Specific epithet means blunt-leaved.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to a number of potential disease problems, including anthracnose, crown gall, twig blight, leaf spots, powdery mildew, cankers and root rots. Aphids, leaf miners, scale, thrips, mealybugs, whitefly, nematodes, Japanese beetles, weevils and mites may appear.

Garden Uses

This shrub is noted for forming an excellent hedge, screen or background planting. Shrub border.