Ligustrum lucidum

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Ligustrum lucidum
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

Ligustrum lucidum (broad-leaf privet,[1] Chinese privet[2] glossy privet,[3] tree privet[4] or wax-leaf 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).[5][6][7] The name "Chinese privet" is more frequently used for Ligustrum sinense.

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


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.[8]

Ligustrum lucidum[2] and the variegated cultivar 'Excelsum Superbum'[9] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.


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.

In Chinese martial arts (Kung fu /Wu Shu) the white wax wood of Ligustrum lucidum is often favoured for certain weapons, such as the staff, three -section -staff and sometimes as the shaft of a spear or lance.

Ligustrum lucidum is also known to the West as the "wax tree privet".

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Chemical constituents of the seeds include oleanolic acid, nuzhenide, and ligustroside.


See also[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. ^ "Ligustrum lucidum". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  5. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Ligustrum lucidum
  6. ^ Biota of North America Program, Ligustrum lucidum
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Ligustrum lucidum 'Excelsum Superbum'". Retrieved 21 May 2013. 

External links[edit]