Ligustrum obtusifolium is a woody, perennial, semi-deciduous shrub that grows to 10 ft. (3 m) in height. It is many stemmed and has pubescent branchlets.
Its opposite leaves are elliptic to oblong-ovate in shape and measure 1-2 in. (2.5-5 cm) long and 0.3-1 in. (0.75-2.5 cm) wide. The upper leaf surface is dark green in color, while the lower surface is pubescent, or only pubescent on the mid-rib.
The white flowers are unpleasantly scented and are borne in nodding panicles that measure 0.75-1.5 in. (2-2.5 cm) long. The flowers appear on the plant in June.
The fruits are black or blue-black, somewhat glaucous drupes. They are subglobose in shape and measure 0.25 in. (6 mm) in length. Fruit appear on the plant in September and persist on the branches into the winter.
Privets can form dense thickets, which reduce light and moisture availability for native shrubs and wildflowers. This decreases plant diversity and impacts the animals which depend on them for food and shelter.
Privet species were introduced to the US in the 1800s
Forests, forest edges, fields, meadows, disturbed areas with rich soils
Privets produce white flowers from April to June, which are followed by green drupes from July to March. These fruit gradually ripen to a dark purple or black color in the winter. It is often difficult to differentiate between the four privets to the species level, particularly when they are not flowering.
How You Can Help
Northern spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
5544025, Richard Gardener, UMES, Bugwood.org
5453179, 5453163, Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
2151024, Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org