Small-leaved privet

Small Leaved Privet

Ligustrum sinense
Family OLEACEAE Life Form SHRuB tO 3 m HIgH
Origin China

Shrub or small tree. Flowering parts, young branches and new growth covered with short, soft hairs. Leaves elliptic to ovate, midrib on lower surface pubescent, green both sides. Flowers white, fragrant. Berry black.

Flowering time:
Late winter to spring
Fruiting time:
Colonises disturbed sites and intact rainforest communities
Fertile soils, swamps
Birds, bats, water, regrowth from cut stems, rubbish dumping
Weed status:
Not listed
Locality notes:
Similar Native Species:
Breynia oblongifolia, Native Coffe Bush has alternate, lighter coloured leaves. Lilli Pillis have oil dots in the leaves.

Control Methods for small-leaved privet


SEEDLINGS/SAPLINGS: handpull or spot spray with glyphosate at 1:50 (20ml/L) &/or metsulfuron methyl at 1.5g/10L + non ionic surfactant or cut & paint with glyphosate & water at 1:1.5.

DENSE INFESTATIONS OF SAPLINGS: cut back foliage and spray regrowth with glyphosate at 1:50 (20ml/L) &/or metsulfuron methyl at 1.5g/10L + non ionic surfactant (e.g. AgralĀ®), or over spray. Larger plants up to 3m tall can be foliar sprayed with metsulfuron methyl however complete spray /leaf coverage is required as plants will reshoot.

SHRUBS/TREES: cut, scrape & paint or stem inject with a drill or hatchet, fill cuts with glyphosate & water at 1:1.5 + metsulfuron methyl 1g/L. Cut sections of Privet stem will take root if left on the ground in moist environments. Place cut stems off the ground to dry or undertake stem injection where practical.

Best season
Spray applications best undertaken between flower and fruiting.

Covered by off label permit 9907 for use in areas of native vegetation to control noxious and environmental weeds. Further detail available at

General Notes
Small-leaved Privet readily coppices and suckers, cutting back plant without treating stems will result in a dense multistemmed shrub.