Ligustrum lucidum (broad-leaf privet, Chinese privet glossy privet, tree privet or wax-leaf privet) is a species of privet (genus Ligustrum), 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). The name "Chinese privet" is also used for Ligustrum sinense.
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 unpleasantly pungent.
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.
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, and is similarly listed in New Zealand's National Pest Plant Accord.
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. 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.
Ligustrum lucidum killed as weeds in an Australian rainforest
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- Weed profile: Privet, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
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- 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.
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