Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Ligustrum sinense
(Chinese privet)

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Datasheet

Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ligustrum sinense
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Chinese privet
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • L. sinense is a small tree or shrub capable of reaching 7 m in height. Where it occurs it can form impenetrable thickets and crowd out native vegetation. It may displace the native shrub layer of invaded forests...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet); flowering habit. Verona Castle, Verona, Italy. May, 2014.
TitleFlowering habit
CaptionLigustrum sinense (Chinese privet); flowering habit. Verona Castle, Verona, Italy. May, 2014.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway-2014
Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet); flowering habit. Verona Castle, Verona, Italy. May, 2014.
Flowering habitLigustrum sinense (Chinese privet); flowering habit. Verona Castle, Verona, Italy. May, 2014.©A.R. Pittaway-2014

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ligustrum sinense Lour. (1790)

Preferred Common Name

  • Chinese privet

Other Scientific Names

  • Ligustrum calleryanum Decne
  • Ligustrum indicum (Lour.) Merr. (1935)
  • Ligustrum microcarpum Kaneh & Sasaki.
  • Ligustrum sinense var. multiflorum Bowles
  • Ligustrum sinense var. stauntonii (DC.) Rehder
  • Ligustrum sinense var. villosum (May) Rehder
  • Ligustrum stauntonii DC.
  • Ligustrum villosum May
  • Olea consanguinea Hance
  • Olea walpersiana Hance
  • Phillyrea indica Lour.

International Common Names

  • English: broad-leaved privet; Chinese ligustrum; glossy privet; small–leaved privet; tree privet
  • Spanish: ligustrina (Argentina)
  • French: troène de Chine
  • Chinese: xiao la

Local Common Names

  • : Chinese liguster
  • Germany: Liguster, Chinesischer
  • Italy: ligustro della China

EPPO code

  • LIGSI (Ligustrum sinense)

Summary of Invasiveness

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L. sinense is a small tree or shrub capable of reaching 7 m in height. Where it occurs it can form impenetrable thickets and crowd out native vegetation. It may displace the native shrub layer of invaded forests and prevent regeneration of native species (Weber, 2003). It is capable of spreading rapidly to the exclusion of almost all native species and is tolerant of a wide range of ecological conditions. It is a threat to many habitats and is very difficult to control once established.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Oleales
  •                         Family: Oleaceae
  •                             Genus: Ligustrum
  •                                 Species: Ligustrum sinense

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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The genus Ligustrum contains around 40 species and is found throughout most of the temperate and tropical Old World except Africa and the coldest regions (Green, 1987), and is a member of the Oleaceae, a medium sized family consisting of around 600 species in 25 genera. Recent molecular studies have revealed that Ligustrum and Syringa are closely related and exist in the subtribe Ligustrinae within the tribe Oleeae (Wallander and Albert, 2000). The genus Ligustrum has been the subject of repeated reviews in the past (Green, 1985; Green, 1990; Green, 1995) and the current opinion is that the distinctions between species in Ligustrum are small.

Description

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L. sinense is an evergreen to semi-deciduous shrub/tree growing 2-7 m with cylindrical and hairy branchlets. The papery to leathery leaves are opposite, 2–7 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, with an entire margin and a 2–8 mm petiole. The flowers are white and arranged in cone-shaped panicles 4 –10 cm long. The corolla is made up of four basally fused petals with exserted stamens. The ellipsoid fruits are blue-black and berry-like, 5–8 mm diameter and formed into abundant pyramidal clusters. The flowers are somewhat unpleasantly fragranced.

Plant Type

Top of page Perennial
Shrub
Tree
Woody

Distribution

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L. sinense is a native of China, Vietnam and Laos (Batcher, 2000) but has been widely introduced to Europe, Africa, North and South America and Australasia.

Distribution Table

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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.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

MadagascarPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
MauritiusPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
RéunionPresentIntroducedFournet (2002); Reunion, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (2007)Present on Guadeloupe/ Reunion Island
SeychellesPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
South AfricaPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)

Asia

ChinaPresentUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-AnhuiPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-BeijingPresentUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-ChongqingPresentUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-FujianPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-GansuPresentUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-GuangdongPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-GuangxiPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-GuizhouPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-HubeiPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-HunanPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-JiangsuPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-JiangxiPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-SichuanPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-YunnanPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
GeorgiaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
Hong KongPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
LaosPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
TaiwanPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
VietnamPresentNativeUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)

Europe

FrancePresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
ItalyPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveColonna (2005)
PortugalPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-AzoresPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
SpainPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)
United KingdomPresentIntroducedWeber (2003)

North America

GuadeloupePresentIntroducedFournet (2002); Reunion, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (2007)Present on Guadeloupe/Reunion Island
Puerto RicoPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
United StatesPresentCABI (Undated a)Present based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveBatcher (2000)Reported from bogs, oak-hickory-pine forests, longleaf pine-turkey oak forest and mesic hardwood forests
-ArkansasPresent, WidespreadIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-ConnecticutPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-FloridaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-GeorgiaPresentIntroducedInvasiveUSA, GA-EPPC (2008)
-HawaiiPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-KentuckyPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-LouisianaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-MarylandPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-MassachusettsPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-MississippiPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-NRCS (2000)
-MissouriPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-NRCS (2000)
-New JerseyPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-North CarolinaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-OklahomaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-Rhode IslandPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-South CarolinaPresent, WidespreadIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-TennesseePresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-TexasPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)
-VirginiaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveUSA, USDA-ARS (2008)

Oceania

American SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)Present on Tutuila Island
AustraliaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)Present on Lord Howe Island
-New South WalesPresentIntroducedInvasivePallin (2000)Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve, Sydney
-QueenslandPresentIntroducedInvasiveAustralia, Queensland Government (2007)
FijiPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)Present on Viti Levu Island
GuamPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)
New CaledoniaPresentIntroducedMeyer et al. (2006)Present on Grand Terre Island
New ZealandPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveCABI (Undated)Present in the Auckland region, Motutapu Island and Rangitoto Island; Original citation: Baker (undated)
Norfolk IslandPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)
SamoaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)Present on Upolu Island
TongaPresentIntroducedInvasivePIER (2008)Present on Tongatapu Island

South America

ArgentinaPresentIntroduced1850InvasiveMontaldo (1993)

History of Introduction and Spread

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L. sinense was collected by European horticulturists in China in 1852, probably from cultivated plants (Chittenden, 1951). The plant was widely cultivated in Europe during the nineteenth century and planted as hedges and shade trees (Swarbrick et al., 1999). It was then brought to Australia and was only recorded in New Zealand in 1950 (Auckland Regional Council, 1997). L. sinense arrived in the USA as an ornamental in 1852 (USDA-NRCS, 2000) where it was planted extensively as hedging as well as single specimen plants thanks to its foliage and profusion of small white flowers. It was reported as escaping from cultivation in Louisiana by the 1930s (Small, 1933) and based on herbarium studies reported in the NRCS plant guide it became naturalized in the south and southeast in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Australia China 1800s Hedges and windbreaks (pathway cause) Yes No Swarbrick et al. (1999)
New Zealand China 1800s Hedges and windbreaks (pathway cause) Yes No Swarbrick et al. (1999)
USA China 1852 Ornamental purposes (pathway cause) Yes No USDA-NRCS (2000)

Risk of Introduction

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It is a common horticultural plant and can easily escape cultivation to invade adjacent areas and can form dense monospecific thickets (Batcher, 2000). L. sinense is spread by humans who deliberately plant it and cause new infestations to occur.

Habitat

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In its native range L. sinense grows in valleys, along streams and in ravines and mixed forest from 200-2,700 m (Weber, 2003). In its invasive range it is remarkably tolerant of habitats, for example, spreading in alluvial forest remnants, wasteplaces, shrublands, stream sides, and coastal areas in New Zealand (Haley,1997). L. sinense has been reported in bogs, an oak-hickory-pine forest, a long-leaf pine-turkey oak forest, and mesic hardwood forests in Alabama. In Arkansas, L. sinense has been reported in virtually all non-xeric habitats. In Georgia, L. sinense has been reported in floodplain/wetland habitats, and in North Carolina, in woodland edges. It is common near towns, because people deliberately plant it often as a hedging plant. It is also documented from calcareous glades and barrens and in deciduous cove forests of Tenessee (Batcher, 2000).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details
Scrub / shrublands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details
Freshwater
Rivers / streams Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

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In a study of relative performance between L. sinense and the native Forestiera ligustrina (Oleaceae) in Tennessee regardless of the habitat, L. sinense was found to have a more treelike growth form - higher leaf area ratio (leafiness), leaf mass ratio (investment in leaf biomass), stem elongation rate, and number of fruits per ramet - and a lower percentage of insect-damaged leaves and leaf abscission rate than F. ligustrina (Morris et al., 2002).

Thus, it can be concluded that Ligustrum sinense appears to possess a competitive advantage over F. ligustrina because of its greater ability to spatially and temporally capture light, a phenomenon that may lead to higher photosynthetic capacity and resource-use efficiency, and because of the higher fruit production observed.

 

 

 

 

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Forestiera ligustrinaOleaceaeWild host

Biology and Ecology

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In general, L. sinense is a short-lived pioneer thriving in disturbed sites. Like most privet species it is capable of germinating in shady conditions and under allelopathic tree species. Height and leaf areas of L. sinense plants growing in woods were greater than those of L. sinense plants growing in nearby glades in Tennessee (USA) (Morris et al., 2002).

Reproductive Biology

Honeybees are considered to be of low importance in the pollination or reproduction of this problem weed, at least in New Zealand (Huryn and Moller, 1995). L. sinense is a prolific fruit producer though it can sucker from roots after damage. At sites in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, L. sinense produced 1300 fruits/m2 of canopy while L. lucidum produced 400/m2. Fruit production in both species was reduced with increasing shade and was lower on smaller diameter shoots of L. sinense (Westoby et al., 1983). In moist conditions a large tree is capable of producing more than three million seeds (Panetta, 2000) though most are only viable for up to 12 months.

Physiology and Phenology

 

L. sinense is a perennial with a long flowering period in its introduced range and is in flower from July to March in New Zealand (Huryn and Moller, 1995). Germination in L. sinense seeds stored for two months at room temperature was inhibited unless the seed was excised from the fruit (Burrows and Kohen, 1986).

Associations

 

Studies in New York have revealed that the plant does form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in newly invaded areas (Greipsson and DiTommaso, 2006).

Environmental Requirements

 

L. sinense is capable of withstanding both short-term flooding and shading (Brown and Pezeshki, 2000) and grows best in mesic soils with abundant sunlight (Thomas, 1980). The optimum temperature for germination is 20-25oC (Burrows and Kohen, 1983). Because of its broad environmental tolerances and effective dispersal, it is considered one of the biggest threats to states such as Mississippi (Matlack, 2002).

 

 

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated 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 Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
35 33

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 2 12
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 11 29
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 25 43
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 9 12

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration01number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall11501590mm; lower/upper limits

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • infertile
  • shallow

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aculops longispinosus to species
Aculus ligustri to species
Agrius convolvuli to species
Anobium not specific
Aphrophora obliqua to species
Cercospora ligustri to species
Clostera anachoreta to species
Linaeidae adamsi adamsi to species
Mecopoda elongata to species
Meliola mayepeicola to species
Mycosphaerella ligustri to species
Pangrapta not specific
Problepsis superans to species

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Ligustrum spp. leaves are high in phenolic compounds that defend against herbivores, especially insects. The compounds work by inhibiting digestive enzymes and proteins (Batcher, 2000). This would be expected to restrict the diversity of natural enemies. However, Zheng et al. (2004) report 95 species of arthropod from seven orders and 39 families recorded from the genus. Of their extensive list of natural enemies associated with L. sinense, those reported as monophagous are listed in the Natural Enemies table.

In addition a leaf-spot disease on variegated varieties of L. sinense caused by Corynesporacassiicola has been identified as serious in the USA (Miller and Alfieri, 1973).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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L. sinense is capable of spreading unaided through seed set and also with the help of fruit feeding birds and the intentional redistribution by humans through horticulture and hedging. 

Vector Transmission (Biotic)

The spread of this species is aided by fructivorous birds and one study in Australia found that pied currawongs carried the seeds up to one kilometre (Swarbrick et al., 1999).

Intentional Introduction

The plant is still sold by many nurseries in its invasive range with no reference to its invasive potential (USDA-NRCS, 2000) so its continued intentional introduction is almost guaranteed given the ease with which gardeners can grow the plant successfully. Growing the plant from cuttings is very easy with 100% survival shown even in cuttings made with no leaves (Bona et al., 2005).

 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Breeding and propagationHorticultural plants Yes
Digestion and excretionBirds eat the fruits Yes
Escape from confinement or garden escapeVery common Yes
Garden waste disposal Yes
Hedges and windbreaksWidespread hedging plant Yes
HorticultureWidespread hedging plant Yes
Internet salesWidespread hedging plant Yes
Landscape improvementWidespread hedging plant Yes
Nursery tradeWidespread hedging plant Yes
Ornamental purposesWidespread hedging plant Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Mail Yes
Plants or parts of plants Yes
WaterIf ripe fruit enters rivers Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Negative
Human health Positive and negative

Impact

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L. sinense has a large impact on habitats and biodiversity through the displacement of native species thanks to its high competitive ability and wide ecological tolerance.


Economic Impact

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L. sinense is difficult and expensive to control and has indirect impacts on the beef industry. Cost of control using a combined mulching and chemical treatment was reported as $737 per acre ($298 per hectare) (Klepacet al., 2007). It can also hinder animal movement through bushland (Queensland Government, 2007) and presumably affect the cattle industry.


Environmental Impact

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L. sinense appears to possess a competitive advantage over a US native member of the Oleaceae Forestieraligustrina, with which it is in direct competition because of its greater ability to spatially and temporally capture light, a phenomenon that may lead to higher photosynthetic capacity and resource-use efficiency, and because of the higher fruit production observed (Morris et al., 2002).

Impact on Habitats

Abundance and richness of native plants were found to be reduced in high privet-density plots (Wilcox and Beck, 2007) but bird abundance and species richness were found to vary only during the winter, both increasing in high privet density. The authors also suggest that removal of privet would improve native plant communities, while having no substantial impact on songbird populations.

 

 

L. sinense competes with native species for nutrients and water by forming a highly efficient dense shallow fibrous root system (Swarbrick and Timmins, 1999).

The leaves of the plant have been found to have toxic effects on macro-invertebrates (Llewellyn, 2005). The species can therefore have a negative impact on water quality; it is unknown however to what extent.

Impact on Biodiversity

L. sinense can form impenetrable thickets crowding out native vegetation and displacing the native shrub layer, thereby preventing the regeneration of native species. The trees are long-lived and its monospecific stands can be self-maintaining for long periods of time. Over a period of 20 years, L. sinense, was observed invading a mixed hardwood forest in western North Carolina, USA, where it penetrated about 30 m under the canopy trees, providing 100% cover of the forest floor (Merriam and Feil, 2002). This study supports the thesis that L. sinense can severely reduce herbaceous species and almost completely suppress tree regeneration in a mixed hardwood forest.

 

 

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Sarracenia oreophila (green pitcherplant)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered speciesAlabama; Georgia; North CarolinaCompetition (unspecified)Schnell et al., 2000
Silene ovata (fringed campion)USA ESA listing as endangered speciesFlorida; GeorgiaCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 1996

Social Impact

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All Ligustrum species produce fruit that are toxic to humans causing symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and low blood pressure. Its flowers can cause respiratory irritation (Westbrooks and Preacher, 1986) and in some cases severe allergic reactions in people (Queensland Government, 2007). The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, was most commonly collected from the plant in a study in Mississippi (USA) (Goddard, 1992).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad 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
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Damaged ecosystem services
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of fire regime
  • Modification of hydrology
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Allelopathic
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition (unspecified)
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

The fruits of L. sinense are used in brewing. The oils extracted from the seeds are used in soap making and the bark and leaves are medicinally useful. Anti-oxidative glycosides have also been isolated from the leaves (MingAn et al., 2003).

Social Benefit

L. sinense is commercially used as an ornamental plant (Weber, 2003).

Environmental Services

L. sinense may be an important component in the autumn and winter diets of the white-tailed deer and may serve as a nutritional buffer during years of acorn scarcity (Stromayer et al., 1998).

 

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Boundary, barrier or support

General

  • Ornamental

Materials

  • Dye/tanning

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical

Ornamental

  • Propagation material

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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L. sinense is likely to be confused with other privet species but it can easily be distinguished by its densely pubescent branchlets and narrower panicles (Whistler, 2000). It can also be identified by the fine hairs on the underside of leaves. It may be confused with Foresteria spp. but Foresteria leaves have small, marginal teeth and no petioles. It may also be confused with Vibernum obovatum but V.obovatum’s young stem tips are covered with rust-coloured scales.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Prevention

Public Awareness

Many affected areas in the US, Australia and New Zealand have websites associated with noxious weeds and include L. sinense as datasheets or with advice on control.

Eradication

Kelpac et al. (2007) report removal with a combined mechanical (mulching) and chemical (triclopyr) treatment in forest stands in Georgia. Trees can be killed by direct injection of herbicide into the trunk (Mowatt, 1981). However, in shaded floodplains in southern USA it is reported as exceptionally difficult to kill (Langeland and Burks, 2001).

Control

Cultural control and sanitary measures

 

 

Some reports of burning to control Ligustrum spp., if repeated, can be successful (Batcher, 2000), while others say that burning only produces top kill of Ligustrum spp., especially in moist areas. Managers in North America suggest that control and restoration in sites invaded by Ligustrum spp. are most effective in areas where Ligustrum spp. are just beginning to invade (Batcher, 2000).

Physical/mechanical control

Ligustrum spp. can be effectively controlled by the manual removal of young seedlings. Plants should be pulled as soon as they are large enough to grasp but before they produce seeds. Seedlings are best pulled after rain when the soil is loose. Larger stems (up to 6 cm in diameter) can be removed using a weed wrench or similar uprooting tools. The entire root must be removed since broken fragments may re-sprout. Mowing and cutting are appropriate for small populations or environmentally sensitive areas where herbicides cannot be used. Stems should be cut at least once per growing season as close to ground level as possible. Repeated mowing or cutting will control the spread of Ligustrum spp., but may not eradicate it. However, L. sinense cannot be permanently controlled by cutting, though covering the cut stems with black polyethylene showed some potential in prolonging suppression (Mowatt, 1981).

Movement control

 

L. lucidum and L. sinense are prohibited from propagation, sale, and distribution in New Zealand (Haley, 1997). Several Ligustrum spp. are listed in exotic pest plant council lists of invasive plant species of North America, especially east coast states. Given the fact that it is a horticultural plant for sale in many places and that birds spread the seeds, it is unlikely that movement control outside of legal classification would be effective.

 

 

In Queensland it is a declared Class 3 species under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002 and its supply and sale is prohibited (Queensland Government, 2007).

Biological control

None known as yet but identified as a potential target by Van Driesche et al. (2002).

Chemical control

 

After cutting, large plants can be treated with herbicide. Effective herbicides include glyphosate, tryclopyr or 2,4-D plus picloram (Weber, 2003). The findings of a detailed experimental study carried out by Harrington and Miller (2005) on the application rates and timings of two chemicals against L. sinense were as follows: for spring (April) and autumn (October and December) applications, the percentage control of privet cover averaged 93-100% and 49-70% for glyphosate and triclopyr treatments, respectively, whereas for summer (June and August) applications, the control averaged 67-69% and 14-26%, respectively (study 1). However, privet control was not influenced by variation in herbicide rates of 1.7, 3.4, 5.0, or 6.7 kg a.e./ha compared with each of the five application timings. No differences were found in August comparisons of liquid versus dry glyphosate products or water-soluble versus oil-soluble triclopyr products for each of the four rates (study 2). In a comparison of low rates of glyphosate applied in August with or without trenching of plot perimeters to isolate privet clumps (study 3), control increased from 12 to 65% as rate increased from 0 to 0.8 kg a.e./ha, suggesting that rate responses may occur at lower values than those tested in studies 1 and 2. Isolation of privet clumps by trenching did not have a statistically detectable effect on privet susceptibility to glyphosate. Low rates of glyphosate (1.7 kg a.e./ha or possibly lower) will provide effective control of privet when applied in the spring or autumn.

 

 

Cut Stump Method:

This control method should be considered when treating individual shrubs or where the presence of desirable species precludes foliar application. It is recommended that this treatment is used only as long as the ground is not frozen. Immediately after cutting stems at or near ground level, apply a 25% solution of glyphosate and water or triclopyr and water to the cut stump, being careful to cover the entire surface (Batcher, 2000). Effectiveness of the herbicide is increased if holes are cut in the top of the freshly felled stump, to hold the herbicide in for better absorption by plant.

Stem injection:

Among the chemicals evaluated as injection treatments for the species, triclopyr at 4.8% and 9.6% were found to be more effective than hexazinone (25%) and glyphosate (7. 2%) (Mowatt, 1981).

Basal Bark Method:

Apply a mixture of 25% triclopyr and 75% horticultural oil to the basal parts of the shrub to a height of 30-38 cm(12-15 in) from the ground. Thorough wetting is necessary for good control; spray until run-off is noticeable at the ground line. Like the cut stump application, this method may be effective throughout the year, if Ligustrum spp. responds similarly to Rhamnus spp. (Batcher, 2000). In New Zealand, researchers have killed standing Ligustrum trees by drilling downward-sloping 20 mm wide holes 5 cm into the trunk at no greater than 5 cm spacing around the trunk, and filling the holes with a stump paint-herbicide mix (Batcher, 2000).

Faulkner et al. (1989) reported that in experimental trials of prescribed burning, there were no significant differences in the abundance of L. sinense in burned versus unburned plots. Ligustrum litter has a low flammability and fires did not carry well in these treatments. The Nature Conservancy land managers in Alabama reported that burning top-kills L. vulgare and L. sinense and eliminates them over time, and that burning is effective at controlling L. sinense if done annually with low fuel moisture and high Keetch-Byram Drought.

Ecosystem Restoration

The potential for large-scale restoration of unmanaged natural areas or wildlands infested with Ligustrum spp. is probably low. Restoration potential for managed natural areas or wildlands infested Ligustrum spp. is probably moderate. If attacked during the early stages of colonization, the potential for successful management is high.

 

 

References

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Baker W, undated. Plant Pest Control: Privet: Ligustrum Lucidum, Ligustrum Sinense. New Zealand: Bay of Plenty Regional Council. http://www.ebop.govt.nz/land/media/pdf/PP1098.pdf

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Swarbrick JT, Timmins SM, Bullen KM, 1999. The biology of Australian weeds. 36. Ligustrum lucidum Aiton and Ligustrum sinense Lour. Plant Protection Quarterly, 14(4):122-130.

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USDA-ARS, 2008. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, Maryland, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomysearch.aspx

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Distribution References

Australia, Queensland Government, 2007. Chinese or Small-Leaved Privet. In: Chinese or Small-Leaved Privet, Queensland, Australia: Queensland Government Department of Primary Industries. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/dpi/hs.xsl/4790_7232_ENA_HTML.htm

Batcher M S, 2000. Element Stewardship Abstract for Ligustrum spp. In: Element Stewardship Abstract for Ligustrum spp. Davis, USA: The Nature Conservancy's Wildland Invasive Species Team, University of California.

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Colonna M B, 2005. Chinese ligustre: an opportunistic shrub. (Il ligustro cinese: un arbusto opportunista.). Alberi e Territorio. 52-53.

Fournet J, 2002. Flore Illustrée Des Phanérogames De Guadeloupe Et De Martinique. France: CIRAD.

Meyer J Y, Loope L, Sheppard A, Munzinger J, Jaffre T, 2006. [English title not available]. (Les plantes envahissantes et potentiellement envahissantes dans l'archipel néo-calédonien: Première évaluation et recommandations de gestion in Les Espèces Envahissantes Dans l'archipel Néo-Calédonien.). In: Les plantes envahissantes et potentiellement envahissantes dans l'archipel néo-calédonien: Première évaluation et recommandations de gestion in Les Espèces Envahissantes Dans l'archipel, Paris, France: IRD Editions.

Montaldo N H, 1993. Avian dispersal and reproductive success of 2 species of Ligustrum (oleaceae) in a subtropical forest relict in Argentina. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural. 75-85.

Pallin N, 2000. Ku-ring-gai flying-fox reserve, habitat restoration project, 15 years on. Ecological Management and Restoration. 1 (1), 10-20.

PIER, 2008. Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk. In: Pacific Islands Ecosystems at Risk, USA: Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. http://www.hear.org/pier/index.html

Reunion, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin, 2007. [English title not available]. (Ligustrum sinense. Index De La Flore Vasculaire De La Réunion (Trachéophytes): Statuts, Menaces Et Protections). In: Ligustrum sinense. Index De La Flore Vasculaire De La Réunion (Trachéophytes): Statuts, Menaces Et Protections, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin.

USA, GA-EPPC, 2008. Ligustrum sinense. In: Georgia Exotic Plant Pest Council, http://www.gaeppc.org/index.cfm

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USA, USDA-NRCS, 2000. Plant Guide - Chinese Privet. In: Plant Guide - Chinese Privet, Louisiana, USA: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/doc/pg_lisi.doc

Weber E, 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. [ed. by Weber E]. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing. viii + 548 pp.

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Riskhttp://www.hear.org/pier/
USDA Germplasm Resources Information Networkhttp://www.ars-grin.gov/

Contributors

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01/08/08 Original text by:

Dick Shaw, CABI Europe  - UK, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY

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