Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Plant Type
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Biology and Ecology
- Latitude/Altitude Ranges
- Air Temperature
- Soil Tolerances
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Social Impact
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
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
- LIGSI (Ligustrum sinense)
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
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 TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Spermatophyta
- Subphylum: Angiospermae
- Class: Dicotyledonae
- Order: Oleales
- Family: Oleaceae
- Genus: Ligustrum
- Species: Ligustrum sinense
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
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.
DescriptionTop of page
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 TypeTop of page Perennial
DistributionTop of page
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 TableTop 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.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Réunion||Present||Introduced||Fournet (2002); Reunion, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (2007)||Present on Guadeloupe/ Reunion Island|
|South Africa||Present||Introduced||Weber (2003)|
|China||Present||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Anhui||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Beijing||Present||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Chongqing||Present||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Fujian||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Gansu||Present||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Guangdong||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Guangxi||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Guizhou||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Hubei||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Hunan||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Jiangsu||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Jiangxi||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Sichuan||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Yunnan||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Zhejiang||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Georgia||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Hong Kong||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Laos||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Taiwan||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Vietnam||Present||Native||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|Italy||Present, Localized||Introduced||Invasive||Colonna (2005)|
|Portugal||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Spain||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Canary Islands||Present||Introduced||Weber (2003)|
|United Kingdom||Present||Introduced||Weber (2003)|
|Guadeloupe||Present||Introduced||Fournet (2002); Reunion, Conservatoire Botanique National De Mascarin (2007)||Present on Guadeloupe/Reunion Island|
|Puerto Rico||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|United States||Present||CABI (Undated a)||Present based on regional distribution.|
|-Alabama||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||Batcher (2000)||Reported from bogs, oak-hickory-pine forests, longleaf pine-turkey oak forest and mesic hardwood forests|
|-Arkansas||Present, Widespread||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Connecticut||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Florida||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Georgia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||USA, GA-EPPC (2008)|
|-Hawaii||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Kentucky||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Louisiana||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Maryland||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Massachusetts||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Mississippi||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2000)|
|-Missouri||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-NRCS (2000)|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-North Carolina||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Oklahoma||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Rhode Island||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-South Carolina||Present, Widespread||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Tennessee||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Texas||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|-Virginia||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||USA, USDA-ARS (2008)|
|American Samoa||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)||Present on Tutuila Island|
|Australia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)||Present on Lord Howe Island|
|-New South Wales||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Pallin (2000)||Ku-ring-gai Flying-fox Reserve, Sydney|
|-Queensland||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Australia, Queensland Government (2007)|
|Fiji||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)||Present on Viti Levu Island|
|New Caledonia||Present||Introduced||Meyer et al. (2006)||Present on Grand Terre Island|
|New Zealand||Present||Introduced||1850||Invasive||CABI (Undated)||Present in the Auckland region, Motutapu Island and Rangitoto Island; Original citation: Baker (undated)|
|Norfolk Island||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)|
|Samoa||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)||Present on Upolu Island|
|Tonga||Present||Introduced||Invasive||PIER (2008)||Present on Tongatapu Island|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
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.
IntroductionsTop of page
|Introduced to||Introduced from||Year||Reason||Introduced by||Established in wild through||References||Notes|
|Natural reproduction||Continuous 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 IntroductionTop of page
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.
HabitatTop of page
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 ListTop of page
|Terrestrial – Managed||Cultivated / 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-natural||Natural 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)|
|Coastal areas||Present, no further details|
|Rivers / streams||Present, no further details||Harmful (pest or invasive)|
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
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 AffectedTop of page
|Forestiera ligustrina||Oleaceae||Wild host|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
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).
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).
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).
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).
ClimateTop of page
|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 RangesTop of page
|Latitude North (°N)||Latitude South (°S)||Altitude Lower (m)||Altitude Upper (m)|
Air TemperatureTop of page
|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|
RainfallTop of page
|Parameter||Lower limit||Upper limit||Description|
|Dry season duration||0||1||number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall|
|Mean annual rainfall||1150||1590||mm; lower/upper limits|
Soil TolerancesTop of page
- seasonally waterlogged
Special soil tolerances
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Aculops longispinosus||to species|
|Aculus ligustri||to species|
|Agrius convolvuli||to species|
|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|
|Problepsis superans||to species|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
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 DispersalTop of page
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).
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 CausesTop of page
|Breeding and propagation||Horticultural plants||Yes|
|Digestion and excretion||Birds eat the fruits||Yes|
|Escape from confinement or garden escape||Very common||Yes|
|Garden waste disposal||Yes|
|Hedges and windbreaks||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
|Horticulture||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
|Internet sales||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
|Landscape improvement||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
|Nursery trade||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
|Ornamental purposes||Widespread hedging plant||Yes|
Pathway VectorsTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Cultural/amenity||Positive and negative|
|Economic/livelihood||Positive and negative|
|Human health||Positive and negative|
ImpactTop of page
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 ImpactTop of page
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 ImpactTop of page
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 SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Sarracenia oreophila (green pitcherplant)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Alabama; Georgia; North Carolina||Competition (unspecified)||Schnell et al., 2000|
|Silene ovata (fringed campion)||USA ESA listing as endangered species||Florida; Georgia||Competition - monopolizing resources||US Fish and Wildlife Service, 1996|
Social ImpactTop of page
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 FactorsTop 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
- 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
- Causes allergic responses
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Competition - shading
- Competition (unspecified)
- Rapid growth
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult/costly to control
UsesTop of page
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).
L. sinense is commercially used as an ornamental plant (Weber, 2003).
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 ListTop of page
- Boundary, barrier or support
- Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
- Propagation material
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
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 ControlTop of page
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
None known as yet but identified as a potential target by Van Driesche et al. (2002).
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.
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.
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.
ReferencesTop of page
Faulkner JL, Clebsch EEC, Sanders WL, 1989. Use of prescribed burning for managing natural and historic resources in Chickamauger and Chattanooga military national park. Environmental Management, 13:603-612.
Goddard J, 1992. Ecological studies of adult Ixodes scapularis in central Mississippi: questing activity in relation to time of year, vegetation type, and meteorological conditions. Journal of Medical Entomology, 29(3):501-506.
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Harrington TB, Miller JH, 2005. Effects of application rate, timing, and formulation of glyphosate and triclopyr on control of Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense). Weed Technology, 19(1):47-54. http://apt.allenpress.com/aptonline/?request=get-abstract&issn=0890-037X&volume=019&issue=01&page=0047
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Miller JW, Alfieri SA Jr, 1973. Leaf spot of Ligustrum sinense caused by Corynespora cassiicola. American Phytopathological Society: Abstracts for the 1973 Annual Meeting of the Southern Division, 63:445-446.
Morris LL, Walck JL, Hidayati SN, 2002. Growth and reproduction of the invasive Ligustrum sinense and native Forestiera ligustrina (Oleaceae): implications for the invasion and persistence of a nonnative shrub. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 163(6):1001-1010.
Mowatt J, 1981. Control of large-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) and small-leaved privet (L. sinense) in urban bushland. In: Proceedings of the Sixth Australian Weeds Conference, Volume 1, City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 13-18 September, 1981 [ed. by Wilson BJ, Swarbrick JT] Queensland, Australia: Queensland Weed Society, 165-168.
Schnell D, Catling P, Folkerts G, Frost C, Gardner R, et al., 2000. Sarracenia oreophila. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2 www.iucnredlist.org
Stromayer KAK, Warren RJ, Johnson AS, Hale PE, Rogers CL, Tucker CL, 1998. Chinese privet and the feeding ecology of white-tailed deer: the role of an exotic plant. Journal of Wildlife Management, 62(4):1321-1329.
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
Van Driesche R, Blossey B, Hoddle M, Lyon S, Reardon R, 2002. Biological control of invasive plants in the Eastern United States. Biological control of invasive plants in the Eastern United States. Morgantown, USA: Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, USDA Forest Service, unpaginated.
Wilcox J, Beck CW, 2007. Effects of Ligustrum sinense Lour. (Chinese privet) on abundance and diversity of songbirds and native plants in a Southeastern Nature Preserve. Southeastern Naturalist, 6(3):535-550. http://www.eaglehill.us/jsgeninf.html
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
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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.
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, USDA-ARS, 2008. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. In: Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database, Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/tax_search.pl
ContributorsTop of page
01/08/08 Original text by:
Dick Shaw, CABI Europe - UK, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 9TY
Distribution MapsTop of page
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