Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive

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This series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens is compiled by members of the Friends group and Gardens staff. We aim to build up to a comprehensive archive of trees in Belfast Botanic Gardens. Each article illustrates a tree growing in Belfast Botanic Gardens together with information from a range of sources. Where possible we will give the tree tag number - these are the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Ligustrum lucidum
Glossy privet

Tag -
54 deg 34.949N
5 deg 56.028W

Ligustrum lucidum is a close relative of the native privet (Ligustrum vulgare) and also the cultivated privet commonly used for hedging (Ligustrum ovalifolium). The Glossy privet is a native to the southern half of China, but is now common in many temperate parts of the world where it can sometimes cause problems as an invasive alien. While more often seen as a shrub, it can form a small tree up to 10m.

The leaves are opposite and very glossy. The flowers have 4 fused petals and two distinctive stamens - the latter a useful guide to the family, the Oleaceae or olive family. Also in the family are the lilac and the ash tree. The specimen illustrated here is close to the Botanic Avenue gate of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

The seeds of the glossy privet are used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of tinnitus, vertigo and disorders of the eye. The berries are mildly toxic.

Glossy privet in Belfast Botanic Gardens Glossy privet in Belfast Botanic Gardens
Ligustrum lucidum in Belfast Botanic Gardens Ligustrum lucidum flowering branches
Leaves of Ligustrum lucidum Flower of Ligustrum lucidum
Leaves of Ligustrum lucidum Flower of Ligustrum lucidum

Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2015. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.

Click here to view the rest of the tree archive