It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 2–5 m (rarely 6 m) tall, with smooth, pale grey-brown bark on the stems. The leaves are opposite, 5–10 cm long and 2–5 cm broad, glossy dark green above, paler glaucous to yellowish green below, thick and leathery textured, and with an entire margin. The flowers are white, with a four-lobed corolla 5–6 mm long; they are borne in clusters 7–15 cm long in early summer.  The fruit is an oval drupe, 10 mm long, ripening purple-black with a glaucous waxy bloom in early winter; in Japan they are popularly likened to mouse or rat droppings. The species is closely related to the Chinese Ligustrum lucidum, differing in its smaller size (L. lucidum making a tree to over 10 m tall), and elongated oval (not subglobose) fruit.
Cultivation and uses
It is occasionally grown as an ornamental plant in Europe and North America; a number of cultivars have been selected for garden use, including "Rotundifolium" with leaves nearly as broad as long, and "Silver Star" with creamy-white margins to the leaves.
- vTree. Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation http://dendro.cnre.vt.edu/dendrology/syllabus2/factsheet.cfm?ID=524
|url=missing title (help).
- Hata Plant Ecology Laboratory: Ligustrum japonicum (in Japanese; google translation)
- Rokko Mountain guide to trees: Ligustrum japonicum (in Japanese; google translation)
- Kizzu Guide: Ligustrum japonicum (in Japanese; google translation)
- Yakusou medicinal plants: Ligustrum japonicum (in Japanese; google translation)
- Flavon's Wild herb and Alpine plants: Ligustrum japonicum
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ligustrum japonicum.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Ligustrum japonicum|