Japanese privet Oleaceae Ligustrum
japonicum Thunb. symbol: LIJA
Leaf: Opposite, evergreen, simple, elliptical, 2 to 3 inches long, entire margin, thick and leathery; shiny, waxy, dark green above, considerably paler below.
Flower: Perfect, occurring in an upright, terminal panicle (2 to 4 inches long) of small creamy, white flowers, fragrant, appearing in early summer on new growth.
Fruit: Dark blue, round to oblong drupe in clusters, 1/4 inch diameter, ripen in early fall.
Twig: Slender, somewhat square, light brown with numerous white, corky lenticels; buds small and light brown.
Bark: Smooth, gray-brown, numerous lighter lenticels.
Form: Large, upright shrub or small tree, up to 20 feet with a dense crown.
Looks like: Amur privet - border privet - devilwood - desert-olive
Additional Range Information: Ligustrum japonicum is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Japanese privet.
External Links: USDAFS Additional Silvics - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson