Ligustrum obtusifolium

Border Privet




  • native to Japan
  • hardy to zone 4
  • Special Note: This species has demonstrated an invasive tendency in Connecticut, meaning it may escape from cultivation and naturalize in minimally managed areas. For more information, .

Habit and Form

  • a medium sized semi-evergreen shrub
  • 10' to 12' tall with an equal or greater spread
  • multistemmed
  • broad horizontal branching
  • fine texture
  • medium growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • opposite leaf arrangement
  • simple, elliptical leaves
  • 1" to 2" long
  • entire leaf margins
  • deep green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • leaves turn reddish-purple
  • not showy


  • white flowers
  • foul odor
  • blooms in June
  • borne in narrow panicles
  • somewhat showy


  • black fruit
  • small drupe
  • ripens in September
  • persists


  • thin stems
  • gray-brown bark color
  • smooth


  • transplants easily
  • extremely adaptable
  • full sun to partial shade
  • prune after flowering

Landscape Use

  • screen
  • border
  • hedge
  • foundation planting


  • powdery mildew
  • leaf spot
  • aphids, leaf miners, mites and whiteflies

ID Features

  • white fragrant flowers in spring
  • black fruit
  • opposite leaf arrangement
  • small appressed buds
  • green stems
  • gray bark
  • purplish fall color


  • by seed


var. regelianum - This form is popular and useful due to its branches that spread horizontally to a height of 5'. The leaves are arranged in one plane for a neatly textured effect.

'Constitution' - A compact form with dense habit, this plant reaches 8' tall and wide with leaves that twist slightly.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.