Ligustrum spp.

What is Privet

In New Zealand, there are four known species of Privet, including: Tree Privet (Ligustrum lucidum), Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), Californian privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium) and Common Privet (Ligustram vulgare). These are tall shrubs or small trees which spread by means of thousands of blue-to-black berries that form after flowering. Berries are poisonous and generally spread by fruit-eating birds.

Often found in gardens due to its former popularity as a hedge plant, privets are now widespread on roadsides and waste ground, in the warmer parts of NZ, Interestingly, privets are widely considered to aggravate hayfever and asthma symptoms but they don't actually produce wind-blown pollen (they are pollinated by insects).


How to protect your plants

Cut established trees close to the ground and paint immediately with a solution of Yates Woody Weedkiller Concentrate mixed at the recommended strength. Watch carefully for re-growth. Trimming the plants immediately after blooming will help prevent the development of a large proportion of the seeds.


Plants impacted

  • Gardens

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Mounding shrubs with tangled stems or canes, often covered in prickles. Fruits ripen from green to red, then fully ripen to a dark purplish-black.


A dense bush which scrambles over roadsides, nature reserves and neglected gardens, especially in areas close to the sea.


An evergreen shrub or small tree, up to 15m tall. It has dark green prickly leaves and small off-white flowers which develop into red berries.

Bushy Asparagus

A perennial groundcover plant with sprawling wiry stems, up to 2 metres long, arising from underground rhizomes. It's also known as asparagus fern.