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Border Privet

Border Privet, Lingustrum obtusifolium, fruit, Photo by Lower Hudson PRISM

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Common Name: Border privet
Scientific Name: Ligustrum obtusifolium
Origin: China and Japan


Border privet is a deciduous shrub that may grow to be 20 ft. tall. Its leaves are opposite, have smooth margins, and can vary in shape from oval to oblong. Some shrubs may have short, thorny twigs protruding from the branches. Privet produces clusters of small, white, trumpet-shaped flowers at the tips of the branches. Its berries turn black when they ripen and remain on the plant into winter.


Border privet grows in human-dominated areas such as abandoned fields and roadsides, and will also invade forest margins, canopy openings in forests, stream edges and floodplains.


Privet forms dense thickets, shading out native plants. It also displaces native shrubs and seedlings in regenerating forests.


Smaller shrubs can be pulled by hand. Larger shrubs can be treated with herbicide using cut-stump, foliar, or basal bark applications.

Regional Distribution


WNY PRISM Priority

Tier 4 – Local Control

Invasive Species Priorities – Tier Chart

Border privet is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit


Border privet seeds are primarily dispersed by birds.

This map shows confirmed observations (green points) submitted to the NYS Invasive Species Database. Absence of data does not necessarily mean absence of the species at that site, but that it has not been reported there. For more information, please visit iMapInvasives.