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Products > Ligustrum japonicum
 
Ligustrum japonicum - Japanese Privet
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Oleaceae (Olives)
Origin: Japan (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 6-8 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: <15 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet) - This is a fast growing dense evergreen shrub or small tree that typically grows 8-12 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide but old specimens are often larger. I has thick rounded oblong leaves up to 4 inches long that are glossy green above and whitish underneath with new growth flushed red. Fragrant (some consider this a good smell but most do not) small white flowers bloom in terminal panicles in late spring to early summer and are followed by 1/4 inch wide blue-black berries. Plant in sun or light shade and water regularly, occasionally to infrequently. Hardy to below 15 degrees F and useful in USDA zones 7b-10. Tolerant of most conditions including saline soils but not particularly good along seashore and not good in permanently wet situations. This plant makes a relatively drought tolerant hedge or large screen where close planting and pruning keeps it taller than wide, but out on its own can become a broader canopied small tree. The musky scented flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies and the fruit to birds, though they are considered poisonous to humans if eaten in quantity. This plant is native to central and southern Japan and Korea Woods where it grows as a small tree or in thickets in lowland and along hills. This plant was first introduced into the US in 1845 and so has had a long history in the Southeastern and California gardens. The name for the genus originated in Latin as was applied by Pliny the Elder to Ligustrum vulgare. The specific epithet refers to the Japanese origins of this plant. We also grow the cultivar Ligustrum japonicum 'Texanum' This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Ligustrum japonicum.