Japanese privet USDA PLANTS Symbol: LIJA
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Shrub or Subshrub Hardwood Trees
Ligustrum japonicum Thunb.

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Taxonomic Rank: Magnoliopsida: Scrophulariales: Oleaceae
Native Range: Japan, Korea (REHD, BAIL);

Japanese privet is a thick, evergreen shrub that grows up to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height. The trunks usually occur as multiple stems with many long, leafy branches. Leaves are opposite, oval, up to 2 in. (5.1 cm) long, with a pointed apex and often with margins that are slightly rolled. Flowering occurs in spring to summer, when very abundant, white flowers occur in clusters at the end of branches. Fruits are 0.2 in. (0.5 cm) wide, dark purple to black berries (drupes) that persist into winter. Japanese privet commonly forms dense thickets in fields or forest understories. It shades and out-competes many native species, and once established is very difficult to remove. Privet was introduced into the United States in the early 1800s. It is commonly used as an ornamental shrub and for hedgerows. Several privet species occur and they are very hard to distinguish. Japanese privet is sometimes set apart by the thickness and glossiness of the leaves. Glossy privet (L. lucidum W.T. Aiton) also has thick, glossy leaves, but the leaves are usually larger (3-6 in. [5-15 cm] long).

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

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


Foliage; July
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); Plants growing over fence, invading other areas
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; plants grwoing over fence, invading other areas
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; leaf underside. Plants growing over fence, invading other areas.
Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; flowers
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s); foliage
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

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:
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Faith Campbell, 1998
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
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