Ligustridium japonicum (Thunb.) Spach
Ligustrum amamianum Koidz.
Ligustrum coriaceum Jacob-Makoy
Ligustrum glabrum Decne.
Ligustrum kellerianum Vis.
Ligustrum latifolium Thunb.
Ligustrum latifolium Vitman
Ligustrum macrophyllum Decne.
Ligustrum ovatum Dippel
Ligustrum rotundifolium (Blume) Carrière
Ligustrum sieboldii Decne.
Ligustrum syringiflorum Decne.
Ligustrum syringifolium Decne.
Ligustrum taquetii H.Lév.
Common Name: Japanese Privet
Ligustrum japonicum is an evergreen shrub or small tree that can grow around 3 - 5 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is often grown as an ornamental, where it makes an effective hedge.
Ligustrum japonicum is listed as invasive in parts of the USA, Chile and Brazil. Often grown as a hedge and ornamental plant, it can escape from cultivation and invades lowlands and uplands, fence rows, abandoned pastures, intermittent streambeds and woodlands. It colonizes areas by root sprouting and through animal dispersal of the seeds. It forms dense thickets in fields and forest understoreys, shading and displacing many native species in the process. It is difficult to eradicate once established[
Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is recorded as being mildly toxic and it is quite possible that other members of the genus also contain toxins[
E. Asia - southeast China, Japan, Korea.
Woods and thickets in lowland and hills, C. and S. Japan[
]. Thickets, forest edges, damp forests, gallery forests, disturbed sites and as a cultivated plant in urban areas[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Pollinators||Insects, Butterflies, Bees
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Ligustrum japonicum is native to the warm temperate zone of southeast China, Japan and Korea. A somewhat cold-tolerant plant, when fully dormant it can withstand short periods with temperatures down to about -15°c, though new growth can be damaged by frosts in the spring. It succeeds in regions with a mean annual rainfall within the range 975 - 2,400 metres[
Succeeds in sun or semi-shade[
]. A very tolerant and easily grown plant, it succeeds in any soil that is not impoverished or water-logged[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a pH in the range 6.1 - 7.8[
]. Tolerant of atmospheric pollution, the plant can grow well in cities[
Plants respond well to trimming and even old wood can resprout from the ground if the plant is cut back severely[
Fast-growing when young, but it soon slows down with age[
This species is closely related to Ligustrum lucidum[
There are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value[
The panicles of creamy white flowers are fragrant[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[
Young shoots - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[
]. The shoots contain a glycoside and are probably toxic[
The fruit is said to be a nutrient tonic[
Extracts of the plant show antibacterial, antiulcer and hypotensive activity[
The plant can be used as a hedge[
]. It is very amenable to trimming.
A commercial insect wax is produced on the branches as a result of eggs being laid by insects[
]. Another report says that the wax is produced by the plant due to the stimulation of the feeding insects[
]. Yet another report says that the wax is produced by the insects[
]. It is used for making candles and as a polish for earthenware pots, book edges etc[
The seed does not require any pre-treatment and can be sown in the spring in a cold frame[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Very easy[
Cuttings of mature wood, 20 - 30cm in a sheltered outdoor bed in late autumn. High percentage[