Ligustrum obtusifolium Sieb. & Zucc.

Ligustrum obtusifolium plant

Family - Oleaceae

Stems - Multiple to single from base, branching, woody, to +/-3m tall. Twigs pubescent with distinct long and short hairs.

Leaves - Opposite, short-petiolate. Petioles to 3mm long, pubescent. Blades elliptic to oblong or obovate, glabrous above, mostly glabrous below but with pubescence on midrib, deep green above, light green below, entire, to +6cm long, +2.5cm broad, typically acute.

Ligustrum obtusifolium leaves

Inflorescence - Dense panicles terminating new seasons side branches, to +/-4cm long. Axis dense pubescent. Pedicels to 1mm long, pubescent.

Ligustrum obtusifolium inflorescenceInflorescence.

Flowers - Slightly fragrant. Corolla tubular, 4-lobed, white, to 9mm long total. Lobes in two opposing pairs, to 3mm long, acute, often recurving. Stamens 2, adnate at apex of corolla tube. Filaments very short. Anthers brownish-yellow, 3mm long, slightly exserted. Ovary green, globose, glabrous. Style 2.5mm long, glabrous, white, included. Stigma capitate. Calyx tube to -2mm long, 1.4mm in diameter, pubescent, 4-lobed. Lobes very shallow. Drupes to +/-6mm long, ovoid, bluish-black.

Ligustrum obtusifolium flowersFlowers.

Ligustrum obtusifolium fruitsFruits.

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Moist woods, streambanks, also cultivated.

Origin - Native to Asia.

Other info. - There are other species of Ligustrum which are cultivated in Missouri and escaping into the wild, as this species has done. The majority of these species are fairly difficult to tell apart. These plants should not be willingly spread as they can be invasive and are beginning to become common.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 5-12-00.