Help Identifying this?

kiwi_liv4July 26, 2014

Is anyone able to ID this plant/shrub?

Grows in my neighbors backyard (San Jose, CA) - currently growing around 8-10ft but they trim it back, so no idea how tall it could get.

The back of the leaf is smooth, and it is an evergreen. The leaves are arranged opposite along the stem. No flowers or berries (that I can see).

Ideas anyone?

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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

Aaaaarghhhh! A privet. Might be Ligustrum lucidum or Ligustrum japonicum (sold interchangeably). Why "aaargh"? Eventually will have bunches of small white flowers, then blue berries, which will be spread far and wide by birds, leading to seedlings coming up everywhere. Wish I had a dollar for every one of those I've weeded from my flower beds. They are, to say the least, invasive and a nuisance in any neighborhood.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:12AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

I don't know which privet that is, but the leaves look wider than those on my Japanese privet hedge (planted by the Previous Owners).

The 20 privets are now about 15+ feet tall; I estimate they're about 20 years old. I find a few seedlings under the hedge each year; they are easily dealt with. And there's one seedling which is a couple of feet tall about 150' downhill, between the fence and the neighbor's 480' long, 60' tall Leyland cypress hedge (now there's a nuisance!).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:47AM
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catspa_NoCA_Z9_Sunset14

The zone sets the tone! Here in Z9b (Livermore) it is hundreds of seedlings, especially under the valley oak tree where the cedar wax-wings and robins hang out after partaking of those blasted blue berries. Of the 20+ privet TREES I removed after moving here, only 4 had been deliberately planted; the rest were volunteers left by the previous owners to grow willy-nilly. There were dozens of shrub-sized ones also to take out. Along with being invasive, they are also highly susceptible to oak-root fungus (one neighbor's three trees are all thus infected and I wish he would put them out of their misery -- talk about visual blight).

Fortunately, Leyland cypress are not common here, but I have heard about them, especially the conflicts they cause among neighbors in Britain (a 60' tall hedge is a "bit much", I must say!).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:15PM
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kiwi_liv4

Thanks everyone! Its a hard call - I don't want to plant something that will be a 'nuisance', but then again, I have a long garden bed by the pool that everything I plant there refuses to grow, so something hardy with a mind of its own would be nice in a way.

Helps to know what it is though - thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 12:41PM
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