Japanese privet Ligustrum japonicum, photographed by Jack Scheper.

Belongs within: Lamiales.

Ligustrum, the privets, is a genus of shrubs and small trees native to the Old World, though various species have become more widely distributed as a result of being cultivated for hedges.

Characters (from Flora of China): Shrubs or small trees, deciduous or evergreen. Leaves opposite, simple, short petiolate; leaf blade entire. Inflorescences terminal panicles of cymes, rarely lateral. Flowers bisexual, sessile or pedicellate. Calyx campanulate, truncate or 4-toothed, persistent. Corolla white, rotate, funnelform, or salverform, 4-lobed; lobes ca. as long as or shorter than corolla tube, valvate in bud. Stamens 2, inserted at mouth of corolla tube, included or exserted; anthers yellow or sometimes purple, oblong. Ovules 2 in each locule, pendulous. Style shorter than stamens; stigma 2-cleft. Fruit a berrylike drupe with membranous or papery endocarp, rarely drupaceous or loculicidal. Seeds 1-4; endosperm fleshy; radicle short, upward.

    |--L. arboreum MM96
    |--L. confusum SN88
    |--L. indicum SN88
    |--L. japonicum OP01
    |--L. lucidum H06
    |--L. nepalense SN88
    |--L. obtusifolium [incl. L. ibota] LO98
    |--L. ovalifolium H06
    |--L. sinense H06
    `--L. vulgare OP01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[H06] Henderson, L. 2006. Comparisons of invasive plants in southern Africa originating from southern temperate, northern temperate and tropical regions. Bothalia 36 (2): 201-222.

[LO98] Lack, H. W., & H. Ohba. 1998. Die Xylothek des Chikusai Kato. Willdenowia 28: 263-276.

[MM96] Mound, L. A., & R. Marullo. 1996. The thrips of Central and South America: an introduction (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-487.

[OP01] Olmstead, R. G., C. W. dePamphilis, A. D. Wolfe, N. D. Young, W. J. Elisons & P. A. Reeves. 2001. Disintegration of the Scrophulariaceae. American Journal of Botany 88 (2): 348-361.

[SN88] Suzuki, M., & S. Noshiro. 1988. Wood structure of Himalayan plants. In The Himalayan Plants vol. 1 (H. Ohba & S. B. Malla, eds) The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 341-379.

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