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);

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.

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
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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, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, 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, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
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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 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
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Control; Privet removal with gyro-trac
Scott Horn, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
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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.

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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, 2009-2013
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 Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009