Scientific: Ligustrum japonicum (often sold as L. texanum)
Common: Japanese privet, wax-leaf privet
Family: Oleaceae
Origin: China, Japan

Pronounciation: La-GUS-trum ja-PON-i-cum

Hardiness zones
Sunset
4-24
USDA 7 (with cold protection), 8-11

Landscape Use: Informal hedge plant, background, screen, small multiple-trunk patio tree, filler plant, containers, accent.

Form & Character: Evergreen, old fashioned, formal, dense, rounded, to upright shrub for mesic landscape designs.

Growth Habit: Moderately upright and rounded to 15 feet with equal spread. Can be maintained at 5 to 6 feet.

Foliage/Texture: Leaves are thick, glabrous, waxy, ovate and slightly recurved downward toward the apical tip, opposite, to 4 inches long, prominent mid vein, prominent stem lenticels; medium texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Musty smelling, small white flowers in panicled clusters, fruits small black, waxy globose to 1/4 inch long, clustered.

Seasonal Color: White flowers in late spring (usually May).

Temperature: Tolerant of Phoenix cold.

Light: In Phoenix, partial is sun best. Always avoid western sun.

Soil: Some chlorosis in wet alkaline soils, well drained.

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Best pruned in early to mid summer after bloom. Can be pruned in any manner. Sometimes sheared as large topiary.

Propagation: Seed, however softwood cuttings will root under mist rather easily.

Disease and pests: Root rot pathogens, especially Texas root rot, scale, spider mites.

Additional comments: Japanese privet is a dependable filler plant for mesic landscapes. It is widely used across the southern half of the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans. In Phoenix, this large shrub is an 'old-fashioned plant' - part of the influx of landscape plants from California nurseries prior to the 1980s and the blossoming of the Arizona nursery industry.

Japanese privet has many named cultivars and is often confused with L. ovalifolium.