Scientific NameLigustrum sinense
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Chinese privet is a small tree or shrub. It flowers in June and berries ripen in September. It often grows to be between 12 and 15 feet high (may grow to 30ft), and it often shades out plants beneath it.
Leaves are entire and oval or elliptical. They are opposite in arrangement and are usually about 2 inches long. They often have fine hairs on their underside and on the veins.
Chinese privet is distinguished by fine hairs on the twigs and underside of leaves. These hairs and green color help distinguish this plant from Common Privet.
Flower Seed Head
Small, four-petaled, white flowers, often very dense, appear in clusters on the end of twigs in June. The flowers are very fragrant. The white flowers are arranged in clusters/panicles that branch out.
Chinese privet has small blue/purple, fleshy fruits, which resemble blueberries. It is about 1/4in diameter, and contains a hard seed. The fruit ripens around September
Originally from China, Chinese privet is found throughout the mid-Atlantic, Southern, and Midwestern North America. It prefers low woods, bottomlands, stream sides, and disturbed areas.
woody bush or tree
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
shorter than leaf
Stem Cross Section
round or oval