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Ligustrum lucidum

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Ligustrum lucidum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum
L. lucidum
Binomial name
Ligustrum lucidum

Ligustrum lucidum, the broad-leaf privet,[2] Chinese privet,[3] glossy privet,[4] tree privet[5] or wax-leaf privet, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the southern half of China and naturalized in many places.[6] The name "Chinese privet" is also used for Ligustrum sinense.

The Latin specific epithet lucidum means "bright" or "shiny", referring to the leaves.[7]


Ligustrum lucidum is an 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 have a strong fragrance, which some people find unpleasant.[8]


Native to southern China, it has been naturalized in Spain, Italy, Algeria, Canary Islands, New Zealand, Lesotho, South Africa, Japan, Korea, Australia, Norfolk Island, Chiapas, Central America, Argentina, Uruguay, and the southern United States (California, Arizona, Maryland, and the southeast from Texas to North Carolina).[9][10]


Ligustrum lucidum is often used as an ornamental tree, sometimes in variegated forms. It is also one of several species of privet used as dense, evergreen hedges, which can be trained to a specific size and shape by regular pruning.[8]

Ligustrum lucidum[3] and the variegated cultivar 'Excelsum Superbum'[11] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[12]

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,[2] and is similarly listed in New Zealand's National Pest Plant Accord.

It is the origin of Chinese insect wax from the Ericerus pela used for making candles.

Ethnomedical uses[edit]

The seeds are known as nu zhen zi (female chastity seed/berry) 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.[13][14] Due to the belief in the berries' ability to nourish the liver, they are also used in the treatment of disorders of the eye involving red or dry eyes, blurred vision, and pain.[15]


Ligustrum means "binder".[16]

The Latin specific epithet lucidum means "bright" or "shiny", referring to the leaves.[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lai, Y.; Liu, H.; Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) & IUCN SSC Global Tree Specialist Group (2019). "Ligustrum lucidum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T49838597A147627660. Retrieved 20 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b Weed profile: Privet, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
  3. ^ a b "RHS Plant Selector - Ligustrum lucidum". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  4. ^ USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Ligustrum lucidum". The PLANTS Database (plants.usda.gov). Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  5. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  6. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Ligustrum lucidum
  7. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.
  8. ^ a b RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  9. ^ Biota of North America Program, Ligustrum lucidum
  10. ^ 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 Archived 2020-10-31 at the Wayback Machine". Remote Sensing of Environment. 122: 134-145.
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ligustrum lucidum 'Excelsum Superbum'". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  12. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 60. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Chinese Privet (Ligustrum Lucidum, Nu Zhen Zi) | Chinese Herbs Healing". Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  14. ^ Hu, Bing; Du, Qin; Deng, Shan; An, Hong-Mei; Pan, Chuan-Fang; Shen, Ke-Ping; Xu, Ling; Wei, Meng-Meng; Wang, Shuang-Shuang (September 2014). "Ligustrum lucidum Ait. fruit extract induces apoptosis and cell senescence in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells through upregulation of p21". Oncology Reports. 32 (3): 1037–1042. doi:10.3892/or.2014.3312. ISSN 1021-335X. PMID 25017491.
  15. ^ "Fructus Ligustri Lucidi". shen-nong.com. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  16. ^ Gledhill, David (2008). "The Names of Plants". Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521866453 (hardback), ISBN 9780521685535 (paperback). p 237
  17. ^ Harrison, Lorraine (2012). RHS Latin for Gardeners. United Kingdom: Mitchell Beazley. ISBN 978-1845337315.

External links[edit]