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Common Name:

Chinese Privet

Scientific Name:

Ligustrum sinense

Family Name:



The Chinese Privet, sometimes referred to as the Common Privet, is a semi-evergreen shrub in much of Texas. Ligustrum sinense has small ovate leaves that are margined in white or cream on the popular cultivar L. sinense 'Variegatum'. While the shrub is very tough it has limited ornamental appeal. Chinese Privet should probably be reserved for hedging or screening on difficult sites. The small white flowers panicles are mildly interesting.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, medium shrub, large shrub


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:


Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Blue-black then black, not particularly interesting, spread widely be birds


8 ft to 12 ft, dwarf cultivars 4 ft to 6 ft


6 ft to 10 ft

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Very tough adaptable plant. Has become a noxious weed in some locales. Requires frequent pruning to maintain foliage density.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.