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glossy privet

Ligustrum lucidum W.T. Aiton

USDA PLANTS Symbol: LILU2
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub


Synonym(s): tree privet

Appearance
Ligustrum lucidum is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree that grows up to 40 ft. (12.2 m) in height. The trunks usually occur as multiple stems with many long, leafy branches.
Foliage
Leaves are opposite, ovate to lanceolate, 3-6 in. (5-15.2 cm) long and 2-4 in. (5-10.2 cm) wide.
Flowers
Flowering occurs in late summer, when very abundant, white flowers develop at the end of branches in 5-8 in. (12.7-20 cm) long clusters.
Fruit
Fruits are <0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, oval, fleshy and ripen to a dark blue to black color. Fruits persist into winter.
Ecological Threat
Several privet species occur and they are often very hard to distinguish. Ligustrum lucidum resembles Japanese privet (L. japonicum Thunb.), but the leaves of Japanese privet are shorter (2 in. [5.1 cm] long) and thicker. Ligustrum lucidum commonly forms dense thickets in fields or in the understory of forests. It shades and out-competes many native species, and once established, is very difficult to remove. It is commonly used as an ornamental shrub and for hedgerows.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Invasive Species Management Plans for Florida - University of Florida - Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service
Element Stewardship Abstract - The Nature Conservancy