Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Ligustrum obtusifolium
(border privet)

Toolbox

Datasheet

Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 08 February 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium
  • Preferred Common Name
  • border privet
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • L. obtusifolium is a deciduous shrub native to Japan, China and Korea. It has been introduced widely into the USA where it has established in stream valleys, old fields, forest gaps and disturbed urban and subu...

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report

Pictures

Top of page
PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
TitleFlowers and foliage
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
Flowers and foliageLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.
Flowering habitLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); flowers and foliage. USA. June, 2004.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of flowers. USA.
TitleFlowers
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of flowers. USA.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of flowers. USA.
FlowersLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of flowers. USA.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripening fruits and foliage. USA. September, 2001.
TitleFruits and foliage
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripening fruits and foliage. USA. September, 2001.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripening fruits and foliage. USA. September, 2001.
Fruits and foliageLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripening fruits and foliage. USA. September, 2001.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripe fruits. USA. October, 2001.
TitleFruits
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripe fruits. USA. October, 2001.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripe fruits. USA. October, 2001.
FruitsLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); ripe fruits. USA. October, 2001.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of ripe fruits. USA. March, 2006.
TitleFruits
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of ripe fruits. USA. March, 2006.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of ripe fruits. USA. March, 2006.
FruitsLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); close-up of ripe fruits. USA. March, 2006.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); inasive habit. USA. June, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); inasive habit. USA. June, 2005.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); inasive habit. USA. June, 2005.
HabitLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); inasive habit. USA. June, 2005.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); trunk and bark. Note hand-saw for scale. USA. March, 2006.
TitleTrunk and bark
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); trunk and bark. Note hand-saw for scale. USA. March, 2006.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); trunk and bark. Note hand-saw for scale. USA. March, 2006.
Trunk and barkLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); trunk and bark. Note hand-saw for scale. USA. March, 2006.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); cut stump, reveals growth rings of ca.10-11 yrs. USA. March, 2006.
TitleCut stump
CaptionLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); cut stump, reveals growth rings of ca.10-11 yrs. USA. March, 2006.
Copyright©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet); cut stump, reveals growth rings of ca.10-11 yrs. USA. March, 2006.
Cut stumpLigustrum obtusifolium (border privet); cut stump, reveals growth rings of ca.10-11 yrs. USA. March, 2006.©Leslie J. Mehrhoff/University of Connecticut/Bugwood.org - CC BY 3.0 US

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ligustrum obtusifolium Siebold & Zucc.

Preferred Common Name

  • border privet

Other Scientific Names

  • Ligustrum amurense Carrière
  • Ligustrum ciliatum var. spathulatum Blume
  • Ligustrum ibota f. angustifolium (Blume) Nakai
  • Ligustrum ibota f. obtusifolium (Siebold & Zucc.) Koidz.
  • Ligustrum ibota f. tschonoskii (Nakai) Nakai
  • Ligustrum ibota var. amurense (Carrière) Mansf.
  • Ligustrum ibota var. angustifolium Blume
  • Ligustrum ibota var. diabolicum Koidz.
  • Ligustrum ibota var. obovatum Blume
  • Ligustrum ibota var. obtusifolium (Siebold & Zucc.) Koidz.
  • Ligustrum ibota var. regelianum (Koehne) Siebold ex Beissn., Schelle & Zabel
  • Ligustrum ibota var. suave Kitag.
  • Ligustrum ibota var. tschonoskii Nakai
  • Ligustrum ibota var. velutinum Blume
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium f. leiocalyx (Nakai) Murata
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium f. velutinum (Blume) Murata
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium subsp. suave (Kitag.) Kitag.
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium var. amurense (Carrière) Mansf.
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium var. leiocalyx (Nakai) H.Hara
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium var. regelianum (Koehne) Rehder
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium var. rubescens Nakai
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium var. velutinum (Blume) H.Hara
  • Ligustrum regelianum Koehne
  • Ligustrum suave (Kitag.) Kitag.
  • Ligustrum tschonoskii var. leiocalyx Nakai

International Common Names

  • English: amur privet; blunt-leaved privet; japanese deciduous privet; obtuse-leaved privet; regal privet
  • French: troène à feuilles obtuses; troène obtusifolium

Local Common Names

  • China: dong ya nu zhen; liao dong shui la shu
  • Germany: liguster; stumpfblättriger
  • Japan: ibota-no-ki

EPPO code

  • LIGOB (Ligustrum obtusifolium)

Summary of Invasiveness

Top of page

L. obtusifolium is a deciduous shrub native to Japan, China and Korea. It has been introduced widely into the USA where it has established in stream valleys, old fields, forest gaps and disturbed urban and suburban forest remnants. It is listed as invasive in several states in the USA including Indiana, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. L. obtusifolium forms dense thickets which can be difficult to control and may alter habitats and outcompete native plant species. A number of Ligustrum species, such as L. vulgare and L. sinense, are also known to be invasive.

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Oleales
  •                         Family: Oleaceae
  •                             Genus: Ligustrum
  •                                 Species: Ligustrum obtusifolium

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page

L. obtusifolium Siebold & Zucc. (1846) is the accepted name for the species. L. obtusifolium is one of 45 species in the genus Ligustrum L. (1753) (Flora of China Editorial Comittee, 2014). It is a member of the family Oleaceae which includes 787 species of woody plants.

The variability of the pubescence (pubescent to glabrous) of the branchlets has, in part, led to 30 different synonyms (Nesom, 2009; The Plant List, 2013; USDA-ARS, 2014) and taxonomic conflation and naming confusion with L. ibota. The genus Ligustrum has been the subject of repeated reviews in the past (Green, 1990; Green, 1995) and the current opinion is that the distinctions between species in Ligustrum are small.

L. obtusifolium has one accepted form, L. obtusifolium subsp. microphyllum (Nakai) P.S.Green.

In many case the name L. obtusifolium subsp. obtusifolium refers to the indigenous species found in Japan. L. obtusifolium subsp. suave is often used to refer to L. obtusifoium found in China, Korea and the Amur region of Russia (Nesom, 2009).

Ligustrum, from the latin word ligo, means to bind and its slender and flexible twigs having been used as bands or bindings. Ligustrum is also the classical Latin name for Privets. Obtusifolium is derived from the Latin obtusus meaning ‘blunt’ and folium meaning ‘leaf’. 

Description

Top of page

Deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub that grows from 8-20 ft. tall. Leaves: opposite, simple, entire, short-stalked, ranging in length from 2.54-7.6 cm and varying in shape from oval, elliptic to oblong. Shrubs 0.5-3 m, deciduous and many branched. Branchlets minutely pilose to pubescent or puberulent. Petiole 1-2 mm, glabrous or pubescent; leaf blade oblong, oblong-lanceolate, elliptic, ovate to long obovate-elliptic, or oblanceolate, 0.8-6 × 0.4-2.5 cm, papery, scattered pilose to glabrous or sparsely pubescent, base cuneate or broadly so, apex acute or obtuse, mucronulate, sometimes slightly retuse; primary veins 3-5(-7) on each side of midrib, often obscure or abaxially slightly raised. Panicles terminal, 1.5-4 × 1.5-3 cm, densely flowered. Pedicel 0-2 mm, puberulent, pubescent or glabrous. Calyx 1-2 mm, puberulent, pubescent, or glabrous. Corolla 5-10 mm; tube 1.5-2.5 × as long as lobes. Stamens reaching about middle of corolla lobes; anthers lanceolate, 2-3 mm. Fruit purple-black, subglobose to broadly ellipsoid, 5-8 × 4-6 mm. Fl. May-Jun, fr. Aug-Oct (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Shrub
Woody

Distribution

Top of page

L. obtusifolium is native to the mountains of Japan, China and Korea (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014). It has been introduced widely into the USA, into Colombia and Egypt and is also present in Austria and Germany where it has been reported as an ornamental in Vienna and Berlin  (Sukopp, 2006; Kelcey and Müller, 2011).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-HeilongjiangPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
-JiangsuPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
-LiaoningPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
-ShandongPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
-ZhejiangPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
JapanPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014Hills, gullies, woods;100-600m
-HokkaidoPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014
-HonshuPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014
-KyushuPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014
-ShikokuPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014
Korea, Republic ofPresentNative Not invasive USDA-ARS, 2014

Africa

EgyptPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2014

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Listed as L. amurense
-ArkansasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Listed as L. amurense
-CaliforniaPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive USGS, 2014One specimen collected in 2006
-ConnecticutWidespreadIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014
-IndianaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive Invasive Plant Assessment Working Group, IPSAWG; USDA-NRCS, 2014
-IowaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-KentuckyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-MainePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Listed as L. amurense
-MarylandPresentIntroducedHubick and Brighton, 2014; USDA-NRCS, 2014Present in four counties
-MassachusettsWidespreadIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014
-MichiganPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-MissouriPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New HampshireWidespreadIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014
-New JerseyPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-New YorkPresentIntroduced Invasive USDA-NRCS, 2014; Weldy et al., 2014
-North CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-OhioPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-PennsylvaniaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-South CarolinaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Listed as L. amurense
-TennesseePresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-TexasPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014Listed as L. amurense
-VermontPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Wieboldt, Ed; USDA-NRCS, 2014; Virginia Native Plant Society, 2014
-WashingtonPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive USGS, 2014Specimen at the University of Washington

South America

ColombiaPresentIntroducedUSDA-NRCS, 2014

Europe

AustriaPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Kelcey and Müller, 2011
GermanyPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Sukopp, 2006Reported in Berlin Arboretum 1904

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page

L. obtusifolium was introduced into the USA as early as 1860 (Maddox et al., 2010) and has currently naturalized in at least 20 states (USDA-NRCS, 2014).

L. obtusifolium is reportedly found in the Amur river area of the Russian Far East and was sent to St. Petersburg, Russia and thence to Paris, France (Faxon, 1903).

Introductions

Top of page
Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Canada 1904 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes No Saunders (1904) Recommended for hardiness. Introduced into Manitoba and Ontario
Indiana 1918 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes No Hedges (1918) Recommended for hardiness; likely introduced prior to 1918
USA Japan 1860 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes No Wyman (1938)

Risk of Introduction

Top of page

Accidental introduction of L. obtusifolium into new areas is unlikely. However, deliberate introduction into new areas is more likely as the species is part of the ornamental plant trade and readily available for sale on the internet. Once introduced to a region, the seeds can be dispersed by birds. In temperate climates L. obtusifolium may fruit prolifically (USDA Forest Service, 2005; Gleditsch and Carlo, 2010).

Habitat

Top of page

L. obtusifolium grows best in full sun to light shade. It can be found in woodland and forest edges, roadways, old fields and disturbed areas in moist to dry-mesic conditions.

Habitat List

Top of page
CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Rail / roadsides Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural

Biology and Ecology

Top of page

Genetics

A diploid number of 2n = 46 has been recorded for L. obtusifolium (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014).

Reproductive Biology

L. obtusifolium reproduces by seed and can also regenerate and spread from root and stump re-sproutings. A study by Gleditsch and Carlo (2010) found L. obtusifolium to have the second highest total fruit crop in central Pennsylvania after Lonicera species.

Physiology and Phenology

L. obtusifolium flowers from late spring to early summer and lasts for about one to one and a half weeks. The fruits replace the flowers and mature in late summer to early autumn.

Associations

The flowers of L. obtusifolium attract honeybees (Apis species) and other bees, the red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) and other local butterflies and moths.

Environmental Requirements

L. obtusifolium can grow in soils containing loam or clay-loam, but is highly tolerant of other soil types such as light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay). It is tolerant of a wide pH range, from acidic through neutral to alkaline soils (PFAF, 2014).

Climate

Top of page
ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Tolerated Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Df - Continental climate, wet all year Tolerated Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)
Ds - Continental climate with dry summer Tolerated Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)
Dw - Continental climate with dry winter Tolerated Continental climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry winters)

Air Temperature

Top of page
Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -38 -1.1

Rainfall Regime

Top of page Bimodal

Soil Tolerances

Top of page

Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page

The leaves of L. obtusifolium contain an iridoid glycoside that deters many generalist herbivores (Konno et al., 2009). However, a number of natural enemies have been recorded. These include the moths Ceratomia undulosa, Sphinx chersis and S. kalmiae which are known to feed on the leaves (Hilty, 2014). The caterpillars of Podosesia syringae and the larvae of the beetle Tylonotus bimaculatus which feed on the woody stems have also been recorded (Hilty, 2014).

A number of other insects feeding on L. obtusifolium have been recorded and include Agrotis ipsilon, Asphondylia sphaera, Dolbina tancrei,Lepidosaphes kuwacola, Oceanaspidiotus spinosus,Macrosiphum gei, Macrophya punctumalbum, Philtraea elegantaria and Trichaltica scabricula (Wynne et al., 1991; Uechi and Yukawa, 2006; Konno et al., 2009, Swearingen et al., 2010; Ben-Dov et al., 2013, Hilty, 2014). The pathogens Agrobacterium tumefaciens [Rhizobium radiobacter] and Pseudocercospora ligustri have also been reported (Swearingen et al., 2010).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page

Vector Transmission

The fruits of L. obtusifolium are dispersed by birds (Serviss, 2014). Swearingen et al. (2010) reports that birds and other animals can excrete the seeds undamaged where they can germinate to produce new plants. It has been suggested that the berries the berries are eaten to a limited extent by the eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis), the American tree sparrow (Spizella arborea) and the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) (Martin et al., 1951; Hilty, 2014).

Intentional Introduction

L. obtusifolium has been intentionally introduced to a number of countries around the word as an ornamental plant (Maddox et al., 2010).

Pathway Vectors

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Germplasm Yes Yes Maddox et al., 2010

Impact Summary

Top of page
CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Environment (generally) Negative

Environmental Impact

Top of page

L. obtusifolium can form dense thickets which can alter habitats and enable establishment of new stands (Swearingen et al., 2010). These thickets can outcompete and inhibit indigenous species in North America decreasing biodiversity (Swearingen et al., 2010).

Social Impact

Top of page

All parts of L. obtusifolium are toxic to humans causing nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain (Wagstaff, 2008). It is also toxic towards a number of mammalian herbivores including horses.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Has propagules that can remain viable for more than one year
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Altered trophic level
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of natural benthic communities
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Reduced amenity values
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - shading
  • Hybridization
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

Top of page

Economic Value

L. obtusifolium is widely sold in the landscape industry as an inexpensive, cold-hardy hedge species that withstands heavy trimming and shaping. For example, L. obtusifolium was suggested for highway landscape plantings in New York State (Francis, 1919).

Uses List

Top of page

Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Boundary, barrier or support

Ornamental

  • Christmas tree
  • Cut flower
  • garden plant
  • Potted plant
  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page

L. obtusifolium is often mistaken for a number of species within the genus Ligustrum, including L. vulgare and L. sinense. A key and morphological descriptions to distinguish between these species and other Ligustrum species naturalized in North America can be found in Nesom (2009).

It has been reported that it is very difficult to distinguish between L. vulgare and L. obtusifolium (Hilty, 2014). It has been suggested that the young twigs of L. obtusifolium are more hairy than L. vulgare (Hassler, 2015).

L. sinense has petioles that are 2-8 mm long and corollas where the tube is shorter than the lobes (in some instances, the tube may equal in length to the lobes, but not longer). The corolla of L. sinense is 3.5-5.5 mm long (Nesom, 2009).

Prevention and Control

Top of page

Control

Physical/Mechanical Control

L. obtusifolium can be controlled by mowing, cutting, removing seedlings and by burning. Stems should be cut at least once per growing season as close to ground level as possible.

Chemical Control

Herbicide applications by foliar spraying in late autumn or early spring with glyphosate, triclopyr, or metsulfuron can be used to treat L. obtusifolium. In addition to this cut stump applications using glyphosate or triclopyr and basal bark applications of triclopyr are also recommended (Douce et al., 2005). Treatment of the basal 12–15 inches of woody stem with triclopyr in oil is another alternative (Rhoads and Block, 2011).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

Top of page

More research is required to determine the effects of L. obtusifolium on the environment. Phylogenetic research is also needed to establish species and subordinate taxa ranks.

References

Top of page

Ben-Dov Y, Miller DR, Gibson GAP, 2013. ScaleNet: a database of the scale insects of the world. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.sel.barc.usda.gov/scalenet/scalenet.htm

Brand (Ed) M, 2001. Ligustrum obtusifolium. UConn Plant Database. Connecticut, USA: University of Connecticut. http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants/detail.php?pid=254

Douce GK, Moorhead DJ, Bargeron CT, Reardon RC, 2005. Invasive.org: a Web-based Image Archive and Database System Focused on North American Exotic and Invasive Species. In: Proceedings, XV USDA interagency research forum on gypsy moth and other invasive species 2004, XV [ed. by Gottschalk, K. W.]. Pennsylvania, USA: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, 25 pp

Faxon CE, 1903. Trees and shrubs: illustrations of new or little known ligneous plants. Sargent CS (ed). New York, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2

Francis HR, 1919. Trees in roadside treatment. New York, USA: New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse University, 102 pp

GBIF, 2014. GBIF data portal. Copenhagen, Denmark: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). http://data.gbif.org

Gleditsch JM, Carlo TA, 2010. Fruit quantity of invasive shrubs predicts the abundance of common native avian frugivores in central Pennsylvania. Diversity and Distributions:1-10

Green PS, 1990. Ligustrum (Oleaceae) in Southern India. Kew Bulletin, 45:693-696

Green PS, 1995. Taxonomic notes relating to Ligustrum (Oleaceae). Kew Bulletin, 50:379-386

Hassler F, 2015. Weed identification and control sheet. http://www.goodoak.com/info/weeds/privet.pdf

Hedges, 1918. May 11. Fort Wayne News Sentinel : 9. Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Hilty J, 2014. Illinois wildflowers. Illinois, USA. http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/index.htm

Hubick B, Brighton (Eds) J, 2014. Maryland biodiversity project (MBP). Maryland, USA. http://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/

Invasive Plant Assessment Working Group (IPSAWG), 2012. Assessment of invasive species in Indiana's natural areas. Indiana, USA. http://www.entm.purdue.edu/IISC/pdf/plants/Ligustrum_spp.pdf

ITIS, 2013. Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). Washington, DC, USA: Smithsonian Institution/NMNH. http://www.itis.gov/

Kelcey JG, Müller N, 2011. Plants and habitats of European cities. New York, USA: Springer-Verlag, 685 pp

Konno K, Hirayama C, Shinbo H, Nakamura M, 2009. Glycine addition improves feeding performance of non-specialist herbivores on the privet, Ligustrum obtusifolium: in vivo evidence for the physiological impacts of anti-nutritive plant defense with iridoid and insect adaptation with glycine. Applied Entomology and Zoology, 44(4):595-601. http://odokon.ac.affrc.go.jp/

Maddox V, Byrd J Jr, Serviss B, 2010. Identification and control of invasive privets (Ligustrum spp.) in the middle southern United States. Invasive Plant Science and Management, 3(4):482-488. http://www.wssa.net

Martin AD, Zim HS, Nelson AL, 1951. American wildlife and plants. A guide to wildlife food habits. New York, USA: Dover Publications, 500 pp

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2014. Tropicos database. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden. http://www.tropicos.org/

Nesom GL, 2009. Taxonomic overview of Ligustrum (Oleaceae) naturalizaed in North America north of Mexico. Phytologia, 91:467-482

PFAF, 2014. Plants for a future. http://www.pfaf.org

Sargent CS, 1903. Trees and shrubs: illustrations of new or little known ligneous plants. New York, USA: Houghton Mifflin Company

Saunders W, 1904. Bulletin / Dominion Experimental Farms and Stations (Canada) ; no. 47. Ottowa, Canada: Department of Agriculture, 66 pp

Saunders W, Macoun WT, 1899. Catalogue of the trees and shrubs in the arboretum and botanic garden at the central experimental farm, Ottawa. Ottawa, Canada: Government Print Bureau, 60 pp

Serviss BE, 2014. Ligustrum amurense. Arkansas, USA: Henderson State University. https://www.hsu.edu/interior2.aspx?id=5488

Sukopp H, 2006. Botanic gardens and the flora of Berlin. (Botanische Gärten und die Berliner Flora.) Willdenowia, 36(1):115-125. http://www.bgbm.org/willdenowia

Swearingen J, Slattery B, Reshetiloff, K, Zwicker S, 2010. Plant invaders of mid-Atlantic natural areas, fourth ed. Washington D.C., USA: National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 168 pp. http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/midatlantic.pdf

The Plant List, 2013. The Plant List: a working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. London, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. http://www.theplantlist.org

Uechi N, Yukawa J, 2006. Host range and life history of Asphondylia sphaera (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): use of short-term alternate hosts. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 99(6):1165-1171. http://docserver.ingentaconnect.com/deliver/connect/esa/00138746/v99n6/s19.pdf?expires=1245913331&id=0000&titleid=10263&checksum=5B7FC6F9C11B9BA5D0B754CE3598E844

USDA Forest Service, 2005. Weed of the week - border privet. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/border_privet.pdf

USDA-ARS, 2014. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

USDA-NRCS, 2014. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center. http://plants.usda.gov/

USGS, 2014. Biodiversity information serving our nation (BISON)., USA. http://bison.usgs.ornl.gov/#home

Virginia Native Plant Society, 2014. Alien invasive landscape plants. Virginia, USA. http://vnps.org/conservation/invasives/alien-invasive-landscape-plants/

Wagstaff DJ, 2008. International poisonous plants checklist: an evidence-based reference. Taylor & Francis, 464 pp

Wallander E, Albert VA, 2000. Phylogeny and Classification of Oleaceae Based on RPS16 and TRNL-F sequence data. American Journal of Botany, 87(12):1827-1841

Weldy T, Werier D, Nelson A, 2014. New York flora atlas. New York, USA: USF Water Institute. University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association. http://newyork.plantatlas.usf.edu/

Wieboldt (Ed) T, 2014. Digital atlas of the Virginia flora. Virginia Botanical Associates. http://vaplantatlas.org/

Wyman D, 1938. Hedges, screens & windbreaks: their uses, selection and care. New York, USA: Whittlesey House, 249 pp

Wynne JW, Keaster AJ, Gerhardt KO, Krause GF, 1991. Plant species identified as food sources for adult black cutworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in northwestern Missouri. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 64(4):381-387

Contributors

Top of page

22/06/2014 Original text by:

John Peter Thompson, Consultant, Maryland, USA

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map