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Ligustrum japonicum

This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Japanese Privet is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that grows rapidly up to 3' in the sun to partial shade. It is dense and upright, drought and salt spray tolerant, can tolerate being pruned heavily, and grows in a range of soil conditions (except constantly wet). It flowers in late spring and has an odor that is offensive to many people. It has lustrous, dark green foliage and is frequently planted around buildings and pruned to a "giant meatball" shape. It can be grown as a small tree. It produces toxic berries.

Japanese privet is weedy in disturbed areas around buildings and has escaped and naturalized in moist areas. It works in the landscape as an evergreen ornamental shrub, however, it does not work well as a foundation plant. It is tolerant of alkaline soils, pollution, shade, dry conditions, and it cold hardy. It is intolerant of wet soil. Japanese Privet is susceptible to copper deficiency and white flies.

Listed as invasive in North Carolina by:

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are opposite, evergreen, entire, and coriaceous
  • 4-5 pairs of lateral veins are raised under leaves
  • Twigs are profusely dotted with large gray lenticels
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coriaceum'
  • 'Rotundifolium'
    3-4 ft. by 3 ft., stiffly upright with curly, whorled leaves
  • 'Silver Star'
Tags:
#white#evergreen#birds#small tree#invasive#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#shade tolerant#weedy#tree#salt tolerant#berries#salt spray#cpp#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#pruning#cold tolerant#cold hardy#alkaline soil tolerant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Coriaceum'
  • 'Rotundifolium'
    3-4 ft. by 3 ft., stiffly upright with curly, whorled leaves
  • 'Silver Star'
Tags:
#white#evergreen#birds#small tree#invasive#drought tolerant#white flowers#shrub#wildlife plant#shade tolerant#weedy#tree#salt tolerant#berries#salt spray#cpp#dry soil tolerant#deer resistant#pruning#cold tolerant#cold hardy#alkaline soil tolerant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ligustrum
    Species:
    japonicum
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South East China to Temp. Eastern Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruit attracts birds.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 5 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    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 Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are flat, berry-like drupes that are 0.2" long and blue-black in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Cross
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Creamy white foetids on 2-6" terminal pyramidal panicles in late spring. They have an unpleasant odor.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are opposite, simple, broad-ovate to ovate-oblong, entire, coriaceous, glabrous, and dark green in color. They have 4-5 pairs of indistinct raised veins on the undersurface and grow 2-4" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are smooth, gray, and covered with large lenticels.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Pollution
    Salt
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, weakness, low blood pressure, cold and clammy skin possibly lasting 48 to 72 hours
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Glycosides: syringin (ligustrin), a glycoside; shikimic acid (lowest toxic dose 4,000mg); and others
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves