Ligustrum Japonicum, Japanese Privet


Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014

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Ligustrum, Privet Flowers

Ligustrum Japonicum is an evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and amazing clusters of white honey-fragrant flowers in Spring. Ligustrum Japonicum grows about 10 feet tall and up to 6 feet wide. Also known as Privet, it is among the most popular varieties of Ligustrum and may also go by the name Texas Wax Leaf Privet. Ligustrum Japonicum is often used as a hedge. It’s hardiness and ability to grow tall and provide shade make it a flexible landscaping plant. The flowers remind me of Lilac, a stronger sweeter scent than Lilac typically carries. 


Wild Privet Flowers, Ligustrum

Ligustrum Japonicum is such a fantastic fragrant plant, when it blooms it fills the area with a very noticeable sweet fragrance. Ligustrum Japonicum attracts hundreds of honey bees, plant it near the house where you can enjoy it’s scent carried by the breeze. I actually happened upon Privet because of it’s wonderfully strong scent. I was visiting my cousin and while walking up to the front door I picked up the super sweet scent from 100+ feet away. I walked around back to find they had a number of wild Privet running rampant near the creek. One neat thing I noticed is that Privet flowers hold their scent really well – so break off a branch of blooms and bring it inside. Let the flowers dry, the dried Privet flowers should scent up a room for at least a couple weeks. Ligustrum Japonicum is definitely a must have for fragrance gardens!

Ligustrum Lucidum, Tree Privet FlowersThere are around 40 variety of Ligustrum and according to Wikipedia many of them have medicinal properties. There is great variety among Privet – The most common probably being Ligustrum Japonicum, the other Ligustrum I have grows like a tree – over 30ft tall. Some even have medicinal properties, such as Ligustrum Morrisonense which has anti-inflammatory properties.

The flowers from both the wild Privet I found and the Ligustrum Japonicum smelled the same to me and both bloomed within the same week. The flowers on both of them died almost immediately as Summer came into play.

Ligustrum Japonicum, Japanese Privet bush flowers

Privet will grow in partial sun or full sun, best make sure you water enough or young plants might dry up over the course of a hot Summer day. I highly recommend Ligustrum Japonicum or any other privet species to anyone who likes fragrant plants or plants that require little attention.

Some people have allergic reactions to some Privet causing asthma or related breathing problems. Be careful, you might make your neighbors, spouse or children sick. Also, many people consider any Privet to be invasive because it produces a ton of little berries which carry seeds and will propagate very easy so don’t plant it too close to the neighbors yard or garden bed or it might take over.