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Ligustrum lucidum
Ligustrum lucidum

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Zones 5-31, H1, H2
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water
Leaves and fruits cause gastric distress if ingested.

Ligustrum lucidum

Glossy Privet
Evergreen, Trees


Most widely used as hedges, though one type is a street tree; can also be clipped into formal shapes and featured in tubs or large pots. All bear abundant, showy clusters of white to creamy white flowers in late spring or early summer (some people find the scent unpleasant). Flowers attract bees. Clipped hedges bloom less heavily, since shearing removes most of the flower-bearing branches. Blossoms are followed by small blue-black berries; birds eat them, thus distributing seeds. Most privets grow well in any soil.

Ligustrum lucidum

Native to China, Korea, and Japan. Round-headed tree 20–40 ft. high and wide, with one or several trunks. Glossy, 4–6-in.-long leaves are tapered and pointed, medium to dark green on both sides. They feel leathery but lack the slightly spongy feel of L. japonicum leaves. Flowers bloom in especially large, feathery clusters in late spring and early summer; they are followed by a profuse crop of fruit. Can be used as a lawn tree or planted 10 ft. apart for a tall privacy screen or windbreak. Performs well in large containers.

Before planting this tree, carefully consider its disadvantages. The eventual fruit crop is immense; never plant where fruit will fall on cars, walks, or other paved areas (it stains). Fallen seeds (and those dropped by birds) sprout profusely in groundcovers and will need pulling. Many people dislike the flowers’ odor, and fruiting clusters are bare and unattractive after fruit drop.

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