Ligustrum sinense Lour.

Small-leaved Privet

Shrub to 3 m or so tall. Branchlets hairy. Leaves ovate to elliptic, blade mostly 2-4 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, midrib on lower surface strongly hairy, especially at the base, either hairless or with scattered hair elsewhere below. Leaf stalk 2-6 mm long. Flower clusters to about 9 cm long and 5 cm wide, open and often drooping, downy. Flowers white, the tube only 0.5-1mm long, with the lobes spreading and to 2 mm long; spring to early summer, mostly Dec. Stamens protruding. Fruit to about 5 mm long, black.


Often planted as a hedge and widely naturalised on the margins of rainforest and elsewhere in NSW and Qld.

In Melbourne, plants with smaller, darker and more narrow leaves with pronounced wavy edges have been referred to L. undulatum Blume,Wavy-leaved Privet, from New Guinea; it appears that at least some of these are referable to L. sinense.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Oleaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Distribution map

Ligustrum sinense 'Variegatum'

Leaves variegated with bluish green and white.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
family       Oleaceae
genus        Ligustrum L.