Chinese privet USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: LISI
Ligustrum sinense Lour.
Synonym(s): common chinese privet, common privet

Chinese privet 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. Leaves are opposite, oval, pubescent on the underside of the midvein and less than 2 in. (5 cm) long. Flowering occurs in late spring, when small, white flowers develop at the end of branches in 2-3 in. (5-7.6 cm) long clusters. Fruit are oval, fleshy, less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long, ripen to a dark purple to black color and persist into winter. Several privet species occur and they are often hard to distinguish. Chinese privet commonly forms dense thickets in fields or in the understory of forests. It shades and out-competes many species and, once established, is very difficult to remove. Chinese privet was introduced into the United States in the early 1852 as an ornamental.

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