Ligustrum japonicum
Common name: 
Japanese Privet,
Waxleaf Privet
li-GUS-trum ja-PON-i-kum
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf evergreen shrub (can be grown as a small tree) 6-12+ ft (2-4+ m) high to 6-8 ft (2-2.5 m) wide, dense, upright.  Stem squarish, dotted with light gray lenticels.  Leaves opposite, simple, entire, lustrous dark green, almost black green, leathery, broad-ovate to ovate-oblong, 4-10 cm long, usually rounded at base, margin and midrib often reddish.  Flowers perfect, creamy white, fragrant, in 5-15 cm long terminal clusters, in mid-summer.  Fruit black, 6 mm diam., in early fall and may be held over the winter.  
  • Sun or shade.  Partial shade is suggested to maintain good leaf color.  Highly adaptable to varied soils, except extremely wet; salt tolerant.  Makes an excellent hedge plant.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7      Native to Japan and Korea.   Several cultivars, in the west the most common form is ‘Texanum’, it is shorter 8-10 ft × 4-6 ft (2.4-3 m × 1.2-2.5 m) and more dense than the species.  A variegated cultivar, 'Silver Star' is also available.
  • Ligustrum: classical Latin name for the European species (L. vulgare)
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: hedge east of Wilson Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, summer flowering

    plant habit, summer flowering

  • large plant flowering

    large plant flowering

  • shoots, leaves

    shoots, leaves

  • leaves


  • shoot, leaves, flower clusters

    shoot, leaves, flower clusters

  • flowers


  • fruit cluster, fall

    fruit cluster, fall

  • plant habit, fruit clusters held into early spring

    plant habit, fruit clusters held into early spring