Ligustrum ovalifolium, also known as Korean privet, California privet, garden privet, and oval-leaved privet, is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae. The species is native to Japan and Korea.
Ligustrum ovalifolium is a dense, fast-growing, deciduous (evergreen/semi-evergreen in warm winter areas) shrub or small tree. It grows to 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m) tall and wide. Its thick, fleshy leaf is green on the top, and greenish-yellow on the underside.
It flowers in midsummer, the abundant white blooms producing a unique pungent fragrance, unpleasant to some. They are borne in panicles. They have four curled-back petals and two high stamens with yellow or red anthers, between which is the low pistil; the petals and stamens fall off after the flower is fertilized, leaving the pistil in the calyx tube. Flowering starts after 330 growing degree days.
The fruits, borne in clusters, are small purple to black drupes, poisonous for humans but readily eaten by many birds. In favorable growing conditions, individual shrubs may produce thousands of fruits.
The species is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in many countries, as a shrub, and grouped for an informal or formal hedge. Privets need to be trimmed several times during a growing season, in order to maintain a formal hedge shape. Regularly trimmed plants do not produce flowers or fruit.
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