Ligustrum japonicum Thunb.
Ligustrum quihoui Carr.
Ligustrum sinense Lour.
Ligustrum vulgare L.

  • Family: Oleaceae
  • Common name: privet

    Several species of shrubs or small trees to 6 m (20 ft) tall and 13 cm (5 in) in diameter. Widely cultivated ornamentals introduced from Europe and eastern Asia and escaping from cultivation, especially in eastern Oklahoma. Twigs long, straight, slender, brown or gray, often pubescent. Leaves opposite, entire, usually oval to elliptic, apex rounded or pointed, usually 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) long and about half as wide, usually dark shiny green above and paler below, often closely spaced on the twigs. Flowers small, numerous, whitish, in alillary or terminal panicles, blooming in Spring. Fruits small olive-shaped drupes 4-6 mm (3/16-1/4 in) long, dark blue to black when ripe in late Summer or Fall.

    Distribution: Several species are native to Asia and at least one has been introduced from Europe.
    Habitat: Old homesites, abandoned fields, fencerows, roadsides.
    NWI status: none
    Comment: Ligustrum species are planted all over the world as hedges. The numerous species and cultivars make it difficult to identify individual plants. Ligustrum is the ancient name for European members of the genus.

    Distribution in Oklahoma: Ligustrum persists for many years at old homesites throughout Oklahoma. In the eastern third of the state, it has become naturalized and may be found growing almost anywhere.

    Last update: 9/14/99
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