Ligustrum sinense

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2307074
Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum
Species: sinense
Scientific Name
Ligustrum sinense
Lour.
Scientific Name Synonym
Ligustrum villosum
Lour.
Ligustrum microcarpum
Lour.
Common Names

Chinese privet, common chinese privet, common privet

Overview

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.

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