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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ligustum lucidum - Chinese Privit

Often grown as a shrub or hedge the glossy privit can reach 25-30' if trained as a tree. Trees form a very tight canopy with a rounded or slightly spreading shape. Quite popular, easy to grow and if you like sheered trees this one is already there.



The dark green evergreen leaves are opposite, simple, 3-6" long, elliptical - ovate shaped, with entire margins and a pointed tip. Transparent leaf margins - lacking color.






Stems are brown with lots of white lenticels. Bark is pretty plain.



Flowers in August, big time, big privit smell. Completely covering the tree are small creamy white flowers arranged in 5-7" long panicles. Separate male and female flowers (monoecious) on the same tree.



You can see some of the flowers have anthers (boy parts) while others do not.



The fruit is a small (1/4") purple-black drupe that lasts into winter. Somewhat attractive, if its not yours and you have to clean them up. Considered inedible but birds like them.



Misidentification
Other privits, especially L. japonicum. Leaves generally larger than L. japonicum, also thinner and softer the thicker leaves of L. japonicum, snap when bent, L. lucidum leaves just bend.

Location (almost everywhere)
Aptos
Along Soquel Drive at Terrace

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