Small tree in flower Summer

Broadleaf privet - shrub or small tree

Small leaf privet (L. sinense) left and broadleaf privet (L. lucidum) right

Stems with conspicuous white lenticels (holes where gaseous exchange occurs)

The upper and lower side of leaves

White flowers in pointed cluster

Blue-black berries (fruit)

2 seeds in each fruit

Scientific Name

Ligustrum lucidum

Common Names

broadleaf privet


China and Japan



Distinguishing characteristics

Hairless shrub or small tree; branchlets with conspicuous white lenticels (a small spot appearing on young bark, through which gaseous exchange occurs).

Leaves pear to elliptic or narrow-pear in shape, tips tapering to the point, base rounded, margins entire, upper surface dark green, lower surface paler.

The flower head or inflorescence is a dense panicle (many branched) with a flower or flower bud at the end of each branch. The flower heads often appear pointed. The pedicel (flower stalk) is 1-3 mm long. Flower is white. Flowers in Summer. Fruit is a rounded berry, blue-black or black in colour.


Other plants easily confused with this plant

Ligustrum lucidum (broadleaf privet) is easily confused with Ligustrum sinense (small-leaf privet).  The most obvious difference is the size of the leaves. L. lucidum usually has leaves with 4-13 cm long and 3-5 cm wide whereas L. sinense  mostly has leaves 2-5 cm long and 1.5-2.5cm wide. Ligustrum sinense usually flowers in Spring and Ligustrum lucidum in Summer.

Sources & References

"Weeds - an illustrated botanical guide to weeds of Australia" by B. A. Auld and R. W. Medd.

"Flora of New South Wales" editor Gwen J. Harden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.

Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia (1999-2005) 'PlantNET FloraOnline'


Prepared by Justin KY Chu, July 2005

Checked by Dr Peter Michael, July 2005

Updated by IEWF, January 2007