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Ligustrum Ligustrum vulgare

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
lig-US-trum vul-GAR-ay
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

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

Privet is a vigorous deciduous shrub in the Oleaceae (olive) family native to Eurasia.

The leaves are glossy, flowers are white and airy and followed by dark black fleshy berries that are enjoyed by birds.  Birds tend to spread the seeds around so prune off flowers immediately to avoid setting fruit. When pruning, keep in mind that next year's blossoms will appear on new growth.

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. It is listed as invasive in North Carolina by the North Carolina Native Plant Society (calling it a "Significant Threat") and NC State University's Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#white flowers#deciduous shrub#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#naturalizes#black fruits#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#white flowers#deciduous shrub#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#naturalizes#black fruits#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ligustrum
    Species:
    japonicum
    Family:
    Oleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds eat the fruits.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    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
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Semi-fleshy, green drupe that matures to black
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small, white, 4-parted, tubular, flowers in terminal clusters. Blooms in June
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Simple 2.5-inch long oval to lance-shaped dark green leaves are oppositely arranged with smooth margins
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Mature bark is thin and gray to brown
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in 2 scales
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Smooth gray to brown twings
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, headache, weakness, low blood pressure, cold and clammy skin possibly lasting 48 to 72 hours, colic, depression.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Glycosides: syringin (ligustrin), a glycoside; shikimic acid (lowest toxic dose 4,000mg); saponins, protoanemonin and others
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Leaves