Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Glossy Privet
Ligustrum lucidum

Family: Oleaceae (oh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ligustrum (lig-GUS-trum) (Info)
Species: lucidum (loo-sid-um) (Info)

4 members have or want this plant for trade.


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Wingnut
Thumbnail #1 of Ligustrum lucidum by Wingnut

By Wingnut
Thumbnail #2 of Ligustrum lucidum by Wingnut

By htop
Thumbnail #3 of Ligustrum lucidum by htop

By htop
Thumbnail #4 of Ligustrum lucidum by htop

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #5 of Ligustrum lucidum by Monocromatico

By SShurgot
Thumbnail #6 of Ligustrum lucidum by SShurgot

By escambiaguy
Thumbnail #7 of Ligustrum lucidum by escambiaguy

There are a total of 21 photos.
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3 positives
4 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral antibella On Dec 4, 2014, antibella from Ardmore, PA wrote:

Question: I am interested in planting ligustrum lucidum in eastern PA (zone 7) and note that someone in nearby Downingtown has planted it there, athough it seems to be zoned 8-10. Any comments about cold hardiness? I need lucidum because of its height, and there doesn't seem to be any other hedge that fills the bill heightwise.

Positive themikeman On Nov 12, 2010, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I love this gets huge about 12 to 25 feet tall and has such dark almost blackish from far away, glossy leaves, although not as black and glossy as the japanese vareity, this european variety is considered invasive here in NC and spreads like kudzu, but this is one of the most desireable beautiful species i have ever seen here in NC as its leaves are pretty much darker than everything except evergreens and stay healthy most of the starts off with white flowers in late spring which turn into off-white berries in late summer which turn into beautiful blue-gray berries in the winter about 2 weeks before thanksgiving..the birds dont seem to eat the berries so i can imagine they maybe toxic to eat but i am not sure.i wouldnt try it..just beautiful in every aspect though i hope it spreads everywhere here in the southeast...peace..mike.

Positive cjaz On Jul 24, 2010, cjaz from Pahrump, NV wrote:

We love the plants, but they are starting to turn brown. I am concerned that they are dying.

Negative village1diot On May 9, 2009, village1diot from Vacaville, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Horribly invasive. There must be 200 seedlings around the neighborhood. And when you pull them, you better get the entire root or it will be back. Once established this plant is one tough SOB to kill.

Negative paulforbes On Apr 23, 2008, paulforbes from Fresno, CA wrote:

The birds eat the seeds and leave them on my patio, elsewhere, the seeds sprout and have to be removed unless I want a forest on my hands. There are hundreds of volunteer trees in my neighborhood. Some trees reach 45' tall and 30' spread. If you like birds, by all means plant this tree in your yard.

Neutral htop On Mar 1, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

How to distinguish Ligustrum japonicum from Ligustrum lucidum:

The leaf tips of Ligustrum japonicum are blunt or bluntly pointed; however, those of Ligustrum lucidum are sharply pointed. The leaf tips of Ligustrum lucidum tend to bend backwards a bit.

Ligustrum japonicum leaves are three to four inches (7.5 to 10 cm) long; whereas, Ligustrum lucidum leaves are four to six inches (10 to 15 cm) long.

When a L. lucidum leaf is backlit by strong light, the lateral veins are lucid and appear as is a halo (pinkish) on the leaf margins. L. japonicum leaf veins are inconspicuous or opaque before a strong light.

L. japonicum usually has a shiny, waxy leaf, whereas, a L. lucidum leaf is dull. L. japonicum leaves snap when bent. L. lucidum leaves usually just bend. They are thinner and softer than L. japonicum leaves.

When grown as a tree, L. japonicum is smaller in stature than L. lucidum and is usually 15 to 18 ft. (4.5 to 5.5 m) with an equal spread (can grow to 20 ft.). L. lucidum can grow 25 ft. (8 m) to 40 ft. (14 m) in height with a 25 ft. (8 m) to 35 ft. (12 m) spread.

L. japonicum usually has small clusters of tightly bunched fruit with L. lucidum having prominent, loose clusters of fruit.

Positive nifty413 On Nov 20, 2007, nifty413 from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

A wonderful choice for creating a tall privacy hedge or pruned as a small tree. Much better suited to areas where Photinia x fraseri is overused and terribly susceptible to Entomosporium leaf spot. The distribution of seeds and subsequent appearance of seedlings might be frustrating for some gardeners. However, young seedlings are much easier to pull up than comparably sized pecan, mulberry or oak seedlings. Often erroneously referred to as "Japanese Ligustrum" by nurserymen in northern Texas.

Neutral jabowman78 On Jun 26, 2007, jabowman78 from Pleasant Hill, CA wrote:

An evergreen shrub that will quickly grow into a tree if left on it's own. Birds gobble up the profusion of berries, spreading seed *everywhere*. I've spent more time pulling seedlings this single plant than any other weed. : /

While this species is nice as a specimen, it should be avoided in general due to it's prolific seed production. Many other non-invasive alternatives exist. If you already have this plant in your landscape removal is difficult.

Negative JohnStimson On Jun 20, 2007, JohnStimson from Sunnyvale, CA wrote:

This is a truly obnoxious invasive tree. There is a large example in my neighbor's yard which drops seeds into my yard. The seeds yield many fast-growing saplings which grow up through the middle of other bushes and trees if that's where they start. Cutting them down does not kill them. They re-grow unless the roots are dug up.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 20, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Glossy Privet Ligustrum lucidum is naturalized in Texas and other States, and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Negative escambiaguy On Jan 1, 2006, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant is much more invasive than waxleaf privet and gets much larger. They are found in ditches and along powerlines in my area. They produce thousands of seeds. I dont recommend it.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Atmore, Alabama
Montgomery, Alabama
Burlingame, California
Chowchilla, California
Fresno, California
Marysville, California
Pleasant Hill, California
Sunnyvale, California
Vacaville, California
Bartow, Florida
Live Oak, Florida
Palm Harbor, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Hammond, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Opelousas, Louisiana
Las Vegas, Nevada
Concord, North Carolina
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Sumter, South Carolina
De Leon, Texas
Garland, Texas
Helotes, Texas
Plano, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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