General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 10-15 feet
Plant Spread: 10-15 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Small, globular drupes ripen to black
Fruiting Time: Fall
Other: Fruit persists into winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Toxicity: Fruit is poisonous
Other: Fruits are poisonous to humans, but enjoyed by many birds
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Privet
  • California Privet
  • Garden Privet
  • Korean Privet

Photo Gallery
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2022-05-10
Privet Blossoms 005
Uploaded by Calif_Sue
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-05-27
Location: Tarlton
Date: 2018-05-27
Uploaded by Calif_Sue
Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, Ga
Date: 2021-05-10
Privet 001
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2011-07-04
a sheared hedge
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2010-10-02
the shiny leaves
Location: Downingtown Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-11-29
sheared hedge with purplish-green winter foliage

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia, no photographer credit given.
  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Sep 13, 2018 1:51 PM concerning plant:
    The so-called California Privet comes from Japan. Its 1 to 2.5 inch leaves are dark green and glossy above and are wider in proportion than most other privets and both ends of the leaf are pointed. The foliage can be evergreen or semi-evergreen in milder climates during milder winters; otherwise, deciduous. Its 1/3 inch black berries are shiny. The white flower clusters are still stinky, but get to 4 inches long and are terminally borne. This species is mostly used in USDA Zones 6 & 7 & 8, and is commonly sold and planted in the Mid-Atlantic and the upper South. It is used used as a sheared hedge. Most privets do not make lovely informal shrubs. I have seen it do some escaping into the wild from birds eating the berries in southeast PA.
  • Posted by Mindy03 (Delta KY) on May 16, 2012 4:46 PM concerning plant:
    Honey bees get nectar and pollen from this plant. The honey from privet is said to have an objecionable smell and to be strongly flavored.

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