- Latin Name- Ligustrum Ovalifolium Hardy Planting Zone- 5-8 Mature Height- 10-15 ft Width- 3-5 ft Sun or Shade- Partial Shade
California Privet - Ligustrum ovalifolium. A shrub native to Japan with simple, lobeless, evergreen leaves that may cling to the plant through winter instead of dropping off. It grows quickly to reach a height and spread of 10 to twelve feet in zones 6 through 8, making it suitable for hedges. This drought-tolerant shrug prefers full sun to partial shade with a dry, well-drained soil. White, fragrant flowers appear late spring to early summer from June to July and attract butterflies. In fall, it bears black, fleshy fruits enjoyed by birds and naturalizes itself through self-seeding.
California Privet began as a species native to Japan and is now commonly found in the US. It is winter hardy in USDA zones five through eight. As a fast-growing shrub, it can be used as a border around a yard, as an accent piece near a home or building, and as a plant that brings color to the yard during the summer. When mature, the California privet can be 10 to 15 feet tall. Some gardeners let their shrubs flourish naturally, whereas others may trim them occasionally during the growing season to get the desired shape. Frequent trimming may result in seasons without flowers, which for some, may be ideal. The small leaves, which are approximately 2.5 inches wide, are dark green on top and a greenish-yellow on the underside. In the fall, the foliage can turn to yellow. During the summer, the shrub produces white flowers that have a strong fragrance. Those flowers are typically clustered tightly in 4" panicles. After the flowers drop, fruits remain. The fruits of the California privet are small and black with purple undertones. People cannot eat the fruits, but birds can. Little birds are often seen and heard in the bushes during the summer. The California privet is typically shipped to customers as bare root plants. These plants prefer well-drained soil, and they are very tolerant to different soil types. They can live in clay, loam, and sandy soils, and they have been known to thrive in light conditions ranging from full sun to partial sun. This versatility has allowed them to have a wide-spread presence across the United States. These semi-evergreen shrubs are quick to establish themselves in a yard. They're capable of growing up to 36 inches in a season, and at the same time, they can spread out significantly as well.