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Curly Leaf Japanese Privet Ligustrum japonicum 'Recurvifolium'

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
li-GUS-trum juh-PON-ih-kum
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

This plant is problematic and alternatives should be considered.  Please see the suggestions in the left-hand column.

Crinkle Leaf is an erect, evergreen shrub or small accent tree with curved leaves. It is alkaline, pollution, sun, and shade tolerant, as well as cold hardy. It tolerates dry conditions and is intolerant of wet soils. It is susceptible to copper deficiency and whiteflies.

This plant flowers in late spring and produces an odor that is offensive to many people. It has lustrous dark-green evergreen foliage that makes this plant a great use for foundation planting, as a privacy screen, as a hedge, or even for planting in a container. This plant has a somewhat more open growth habit than the rest of the species and is hardier than the rest of the species.

Quick ID Hints:

  • lustrous dark green, simple, entire leaves with indistinct veins
  • leaves have undulating margins and are twisted at the tip
  • prominent lenticels on bar

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Whiteflies, Japanese and ligustrum weevils, white peach scale, and privet rust mites are common insect problems.  Anthracnose, twig blight, cankers, powdery mildew, root rot are common disease problems.  Susceptible to copper deficiency.  It can be weedy in disturbed areas has escaped and naturalized in moist areas. The berries produced by this plant are toxic. Dogs can be adversely affected by eating the berries or leaves of privet. 

More information on Ligustrum japonicum.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#invasive#full sun tolerant#white flowers#easy to grow#weedy#toxic#low maintenance#accent plant#high maintenance#year-round interest#topiary#hedges#privacy#spring interest#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#partial shade tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#invasive#full sun tolerant#white flowers#easy to grow#weedy#toxic#low maintenance#accent plant#high maintenance#year-round interest#topiary#hedges#privacy#spring interest#screening#fantz#evergreen shrub#partial shade tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ligustrum
    Species:
    japonicum
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are berry-like drupes that are blue-black in color and less than an inch in size.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are perfect, white, and foetid. They grow on the terminal of a pyramidal panicle that is 2-6" long.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, simple, broad-ovate to ovate-oblong, 1-3" long, wavy at the margins, and twisted at the tip. They have 4-5 pairs of indistinct raised veins on the undersurface, have a lustrous dark green color, coriaceous, and glabrous.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Lenticels
    Bark Description:
    Twigs are smooth, gray, and covered with large lenticels.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Malodorous
    Problem for Dogs
    Weedy