Ligustrum lucidum
Common Name: glossy privet
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Oleaceae
Native Range: China, Korea, Japan
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: August to September
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Flowering Tree, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Attracts: Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Dry Soil

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10 where it is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, except wet ones. Tolerant of urban conditions. Prune to shape (shrub form or tree form). Responds well to pruning. Propagate by seed or softwood cuttings. Promptly remove root suckers as they appear. Where winter hardy, this plant often grows as an invasive weed. It has escaped gardens and naturalized in parts of the southeastern U. S., Texas and southern California. It will naturalize by self-seeding, and tends to form dense thickets which crowd out native plants. It is difficult to remove once established.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Ligustrum lucidum, commonly called Chinese privet, glossy privet or waxleaf privet, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is native to southern China and Korea. It is often grown as a shrub to 12-15' tall, but if trained as a tree will grow much larger to 20-30' tall. Glossy, pointed, opposite, simple, ovate to lanceolate, evergreen, dark green leaves (to 4-6" long) have transparent leaf margins. Small, unpleasantly fragrant, creamy white flowers in upright pyramidal panicles (to 5-8" long) bloom in late summer. Flowers are followed by inedible blue-black drupes (1/4" long) which persist on the plant in winter. Fruits are attractive to birds. In China, this shrub is sometimes grown for culturing wax insects (insects are introduced to the tree and the wax secreted is harvested for various uses including candle-making and medicine).

Genus name comes from the Latin word for privet.

Specific epithet means bright or shining.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to a large 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

Not recommended for planting at this time because of invasive tendencies. Has been effectively used in the past as a specimen, for hedges and screens, and in shrub borders.