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Help Identifying this?

Posted by kiwi_liv4 9B (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 10:30

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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RE: Help Identifying this?

  • Posted by catspa NoCA Z9 Sunset 14 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 11:12

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.


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RE: Help Identifying this?

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!).


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RE: Help Identifying this?

  • Posted by catspa NoCA Z9 Sunset 14 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 12:15

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!).


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RE: Help Identifying this?

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!


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