Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council

Invasive Weeds in Georgia

Evans, C.W., C.T. Bargeron, D.J. Moorhead & G.K. Douce. 2005. The Bugwood Network, The University of Georgia.

Chinese privet and European privet

Ligustrum sinense Lour.

Ligustrum vulgare L.

Privet is a thick, semi-evergreen shrub that grows up to 30 feet in height. Trunks usually occur as multiple stems with many long, leafy branches attached at nearly right angles. Leaves are opposite, oval and 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long. Bark is light gray to tan in color and very smooth. White flowers are very abundant and occur in clusters at the ends of the branches. Fruit ripen to a dark purple to black color and persist into winter. Although there are several species of privet, they are hard to distinguish and have similar effects.

Privet was introduced into the United States in the early 1800s. It is commonly used as an ornamental shrub and for hedgerows. Privet quickly escaped cultivation and currently is found throughout the southeast and scattered elsewhere in the U.S. It is widespread and common throughout all of Georgia.

Privet can invade a wide variety of habitats. It prefers moist open lands but can be found in highly shaded or dry areas. It commonly forms dense thickets in fields or in the forest understory. Privet reproduces both by sprouts and by seeds, which are dispersed by birds and mammals. It shades and-out competes many native species and, once established, is very difficult to remove.

Recommended herbicides for control:
Cut stumps – Arsenal AC, Velpar L, Garlon 3A, or glyphosate
Basal spray – Garlon 4 with oil and penetrant
Foliar spray – glyphosate or Arsenal AC


Photo by James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service


Photo by Ted Bodner, Southern Weed Science Society


Photo by James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service

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The University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Dept. of Entomology
Last updated on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 at 04:06 PM
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