Family: Oleaceae, Olive view all from this family
Description Introduced. A flowering evergreen shrub, native to Japan and Korea, commonly planted as a hedge.
Height: to 20' (6 m).
Leaves: 2-4" (5-10 cm) long; opposite; ovate; leathery; margins curl under.
Flowers: small, white; in terminal clusters to 6" (15 cm) long; fragrant.
Fruit: 1/2" (1.2 cm); berrylike; green ripening to dark blue.
Warning Privet berries are reported to be poisonous to children if ingested. The foliage may be poisonous to livestock. It is inadvisable to eat any parts of this plant.
Habitat Disturbed habitats, roadsides, wood edges, woodlands.
Range Asia native; escaped from cultivation in the southeastern United States from Maryland to Florida and Texas.
Discussion A popular garden hedge plant, valued for its evergreen leaves and its adaptability to pruning, training, and shaping, Japanese Privet has invaded natural habitats in the United States. Like its alien relatives Chinese, Common (European), and Border Privet, it is considered an invasive or noxious weed in the areas where it has naturalized. Japanese Privet spreads by creeping root stems as well as seed dispersal by birds and other wildlife.