Native to China, Korea and Japan.
Ligustrum species are capable of invading natural areas such as floodplain forests and woodlands. The aggressive nature of privets allows for the formation of dense thickets that out compete desirable plants. The amount of seed produced by privet is another mechanism for its prolonged survival. Even though privet is still used in the landscape and available for purchase at garden centers and online distributors, it is an invasive weed and should be treated as such. Ligustrum lucidim is listed as a Category 1 invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.
A large shrub or tree that grows to 30 feet in height, with spreading branches. Ligustrum bark is tan to gray in color with a smooth texture. Leaves are elliptic to ovate to somewhat lanceolate in shape, 3 to 5 inches long, and oppositely arranged on twigs. Flowers have both male and female parts. Each flower has petals fused into a tube with four separate lobes. Flowers are borne on small panicles on short lateral branches on the end of the twig. The oblong, blue/black fruit is a drupe containing 1 to 4 seeds. Fruit clusters persist through the winter. Mature trees can produce hundreds of fruit.
The leaves typically fold upward, like a V, from the midvein.
In 1852, privet was introduced to the United States for use as an ornamental shrub and is still commonly used as a hedge.
North, central, and southwest Florida.
Do Not Plant. Remove existing plants before they produce fruit. Hand pull small seedlings and young plants with care taken to remove the entire root. Cut and apply herbicide to the stump.