Chinese privet USDA PLANTS Symbol: LISI
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub Hardwood Trees
Ligustrum sinense Lour.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Scrophulariales: Oleaceae
Synonym(s): common chinese privet, common privet
Native Range: China (REHD, BAIL);

Appearance
Ligustrum sinense is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height. Trunks usually occur as multiple stems with many long, leafy branches.
Foliage
Leaves are opposite, oblong, 1-2.4 in. (2.5-6 cm) long, and 0.2-0.6 in. (0.5-1.5 cm) wide. Foliage can be pubescent along the underside of the midvein.
Flowers
Flowering occurs from April to June, when panicles of white to cream flowers develop in terminal and upper axillary clusters. Pollen can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Fruit
The abundant fruits are spherical and 0.3-0.5 in. (1-1.3 cm) long. Fruit begins green, ripens to dark purple to black, and persists into winter. Birds and other wildlife eat the fruit and disperse the seeds. Seed soil viability is about one year. The plant also colonizes by root sprouts.
Ecological Threat
Several privet species occur, and distinguishing among them can be difficult. Ligustrum sinense can tolerate a wide range of conditions. Plants form dense thickets, invading fields, fencerows, roadsides, forest understories, and riparian sites. They can shade out and exclude native understory species, perhaps even reducing tree recruitment. Native to Europe and Asia, Ligustrum sinense was introduced in the United States in 1852 as an ornamental plant. It is commonly used as an ornamental shrub and for hedgerows.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Fruit(s); January
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s); in May
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); January. Photo from Forest Plants of the Southeast and Their Wildlife Uses by J.H. Miller and K.V. Miller, published by The University of Georgia Press in cooperation with the Southern Weed Science Society.
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
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Control; Area after privet removed with gyro-trac
Scott Horn, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Foliage; May; in flower
James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society, Bugwood.org
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Seedling(s); September
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; April
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s); Far from choice wildlife food, but eventually winter-hungry birds will eat the fruit and spread the plant like cancer, wherever land is disturbed.
James R. Allison, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Ronald F. Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service , Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Troy Evans, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Control; Privet removal with gyro-trac
Scott Horn, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Seed(s);
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina)
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Stones River National Battlefield (Tennessee)
Vicksburg National Military Park (Mississippi)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
Jil Swearingen, personal communication, 2009-2016
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
Reichard, Sarah. 1994.  Assessing the potential of invasiveness in woody plants introduced in North America. University of Washington Ph.D. dissertation.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Virginia Invasive Plant Species List