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Japanese Privet

Ligustrum japonicum

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Zone 9-10

Ligustrum japonicum is listed here with tropical trees, but is technically a shrub rated at about 15 feet. Originally from Japan, this plant is found growing all over Florida as it takes cooler weather in stride.

Notice how the plants in the pic have been shaped into an umbrella. Ligustrum is often so used looking much like a topiary. It is evergreen with coarse dark green leaves and small fragrant white flowers starting in the spring.

Use in full sun or partial shade. Use as a small tree or purchase small plants and plant as a hedge. As a tree, use it spaced at least 5 feet apart.

There are many named varieties including:

  • japonicum - Green Privet
  • japonicum - Jack Frost
  • japonicum - Wax Privet
  • japonicum - Gold Tip
  • japonicum - Howardi
  • japonicum - Lake Teresca
  • japonicum - Recurvifolium
  • japonicum - Texanum
  • japonicum - Variegatum

Slow growing, it's easy to maintain its shape, but Ligustrum has been overused in both home and commercial landscapes as a tree.