Ligustrum lucidum is a close relative of the native privet (Ligustrum vulgare) and also of the cultivated privet commonly used for hedging (Ligustrum ovalifolium). The glossy privet is 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 four fused petals and two distinctive stamens (see photo below) - the latter a useful guide to the family, Oleaceae or olive family. Also in the family are lilac and ash. The specimen illustrated here is close to the Botanic Avenue gate of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
The seeds of glossy privet are used in traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of tinnitus, vertigo and disorders of the eye. The berries are mildly toxic.
|Ligustrum lucidum in Belfast Botanic Gardens||Ligustrum lucidum flowering branches|
|Leaves of Ligustrum lucidum||Flower of Ligustrum lucidum|
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2015. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
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