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Glossy Privet/Ligustrum

The Ligustrum with its thick, dark green leaves can be left untrimmed or shaped into any artistic shape. Because it is tolerant of air pollution, wind and poor soils, the glossy privet is much used as a street tree. It is still a popular landscape plant, used as a specimen or in borders to create a barrier along driveways or between residential lots.

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“Note from Joel”

I don’t know of any case where a Ligustrum would be a centerpiece.  It is perfect however for ornamental, or beautification of a particular spot.  As you can see in our pictures, a Ligustrum can be left with all its foliage, or it can be ‘limbed up’, providing a visual see through.  This also provides a perfect opportunity to create a canopy which resembles an umbrella in shape.  These trees are gorgeous.  They stay dark green in color, and if pruned regularly they will create accents to your yard that no other tree can do.

Common Names: glossy privet, wax-leaf ligustrum, tree privet, wax-leaf privet Family: Oleaceae (olive Family)


Glossy privet is an evergreen shrub or small tree to 30 ft (9.1 m) tall with glossy 4-6 in (10.2-15.2 cm) acuminate (pointed) leaves arranged opposite each other on the stem. The leaves typically fold upward, like a V, from the midvein. The small, white, malodorous flowers appear in late summer and are arranged in upright panicles to 10 in (25.4 cm) long. The fruit is an oblong blue black drupe about 0.25 in (0.6 cm) long that persists on the plant much of the year. Several named cultivars have been selected, including ‘Excelsum Supurbum’ with yellow margined leaves, ‘Tricolor’ with yellow and pink (when young) variegation, and ‘Pyramidale’ with a narrow, conical shape.


Hardy and easy to grow.  Light: Full sun to partial shade. Moisture: Moderately drought tolerant. Needs supplemental watering only during prolonged dry periods. Glossy privet thrives in any soil as long as it’s not constantly wet. Hardiness: USDA Zones 8  10.Propagation: Softwood cuttings root easily. Grows readily from seeds.


The Ligustrum has 2 major uses, as a hedge or as an ornamental tree.  As a hedge, the Ligustrum creates an inpenetrable screen.  As an ornamental tree, it is best used when shaped into an umbrella shape, creating a canopy overhead and no foliage underneath.