Ligustrum lucidum

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Broad-leaf privet
Chinese privet
Glossy privet
FloweringLigustrumLucidumTree.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Tribe: Oleeae
Genus: Ligustrum
Species: L. lucidum
Binomial name
Ligustrum lucidum
W.T.Aiton

Ligustrum lucidum (broad-leaf privet,[1] Chinese privet[2] or glossy privet) is a species of privet (Ligustrum genus), a flowering plant in the olive family, Oleaceae, native to the southern half of China and naturalized in many places: Spain, Italy, Algeria, Canary Islands, New Zealand, Lesotho, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Australia, Norfolk Island, Chiapas, Central America, Argentina, and the southern United States (California, Arizona, Maryland, and the southeast from Texas to North Carolina).[3][4][5] The name Chinese privet is more frequently used for Ligustrum sinense.

The Latin lucidum means bright or shiny, and refers to the glossy leaves.

Description[edit]

Ligustrum lucidumis a small evergreen tree growing to 10 m (33 ft) tall and broad. The leaves are opposite, glossy dark green, 6–17 centimetres (2.4–6.7 in) long and 3–8 centimetres (1.2–3.1 in) broad. The flowers are similar to other privets, white or near white, borne in panicles, and unpleasantly pungent.[6]

Ligustrum lucidum[2] and the variegated cultivar 'Excelsum Superbum'[7] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Uses[edit]

Ligustrum lucidum is often used as an ornamental tree, sometimes in variegated forms. However it has become an invasive species in some areas where it has been introduced, such as urban areas in the southeastern United States. It is classed as a noxious weed in New South Wales, Australia,[1] and is similarly listed in New Zealand's National Pest Plant Accord.

The wood is known as "white wax wood" and was popular in Chinese culture for manufacture of walking sticks and pole weapons.

Ethnomedical uses[edit]

  • Ligustrum lucidum is also known to the West as the "wax tree privet".
  • The seeds are known as nu zhen zi (female chastity seed) in traditional Chinese medicine and are believed to nourish liver and kidney yin and jing in the treatment of tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo (dizziness), premature graying of the hair, and soreness/weakness of the lower back and knees. Through their function of nourishing the liver, they are also used in the treatment of disorders of the eye involving red or dry eyes, blurred vision, and pain. The active effects are believed to come from the chemical constituents of the seeds, oleanolic acid, nuzhenide, and ligustroside. In studies of lab animals, the herb extract has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, and hepatoprotective properties.[8]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Weed profile: Privet, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
  2. ^ a b "RHS Plant Selector - Ligustrum lucidum". Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Ligustrum lucidum
  4. ^ Biota of North America Program, Ligustrum lucidum
  5. ^ Gavier-Pizarro, Gregorio I.; Kuemmerle, Tobias; Hoyos, Laura E.; Stewart, Susan I.; Huebner, Cynthia D.; Keuler, Nicholas S.; Radeloff, Volker C. 2012. "Monitoring the invasion of an exotic tree (Ligustrum lucidum) from 1983 to 2006 with Landsat TM/ETM+ satellite data and support vector machines in Cordoba, Argentina". Remote Sensing of Environment. 122: 134-145.
  6. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ligustrum lucidum 'Excelsum Superbum'". Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Chen, John (2012). Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry, CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc. pp. 962–963. ISBN 0974063509. 

External references[edit]

  1. Flora of China: Ligustrum lucidum
  2. Plants for a Future: Ligustrum lucidum

Gallery[edit]