Plant ID forum→Can you identify this plant?

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North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 15, 2021 9:50 AM CST
I have a couple of these in the yard. They grow very big, maybe 10 feet high or more. Super tiny white flowers.

Thumb of 2021-06-15/PlantlyChallenged/7c38a3


Thumb of 2021-06-15/PlantlyChallenged/5233ec

Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 15, 2021 11:11 AM CST
It looks like some form of Ligustrum (Privet.)

https://garden.org/plants/brow...

If it smells like dirty, sweaty socks and underwear, it might be this hideous thing:
Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense)
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North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 15, 2021 11:40 AM CST
purpleinopp said:It looks like some form of Ligustrum (Privet.)

https://garden.org/plants/brow...

If it smells like dirty, sweaty socks and underwear, it might be this hideous thing:
Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense)


You may have it... this is

"Viburnum tinus (Laurustinus). This plant is put everywhere as it grows anywhere, and unfortunately has a horrible smell when in flower."

Thumb of 2021-06-15/PlantlyChallenged/c95e1a

I'll smell it and report back. I have never noticed a smell before.


*** UPDATE *** Just went out to smell it. I expected it to be reminiscent of dead monkey, but was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't have a strong smell, but the smell it does have is beautiful. I mean REALLY beautiful. Better than roses.

I'll be darned it sure does look like the Chinese Privet. But no one could think that smell is bad. Stumped.




[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 15, 2021 11:49 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jun 15, 2021 11:48 AM CST
I'm a little confused Confused The first pictures are not Viburnum tinus, which I've grown.
North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 15, 2021 11:53 AM CST
sooby said:I'm a little confused Confused The first pictures are not Viburnum tinus, which I've grown.


Okay sorry. The first two pictures in the first post are my plant.

I took the picture in my second post from this link that was posted:

https://garden.org/ideas/view/...

7th picture down on the right.

I may have misread the part that said:

"The plant on the right is Viburnum tinus (Laurustinus). This plant is put everywhere as it grows anywhere, and unfortunately has a horrible smell when in flower."

I'm not sure if that quote is referring to the picture I posted or the picture above it on the right.

To repeat something though. My plant has a mild but very pleasant smell.

It must be a Chinese Privet because it looks very much like the pictures I googled. But I am stumped by the smell.
[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 15, 2021 11:55 AM (+)]
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North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 15, 2021 12:33 PM CST
Chinese Privet... here is something about it.

It seems to cause some issues. But in this article it refers to the smell as:

" very fragrant white flowers"

Which appears to mean they smell nice as mine do.

It also says:
"tubular and very fragrant white flowers with tiny mauve anthers appear October-December"

But these flowers appear in June in the warm weather.

So I am confused. Is this the correct ID?

https://weedactionpiroabrynder...

Oh wait! I just noticed that URL is in New Zealand. That explains the difference in the blooming months. Southern Hemisphere. We are good.

The only thing left is the smell. These smell good. Is that the way Chinese Privet are supposed to smell?
[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 15, 2021 12:36 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 15, 2021 1:51 PM CST
I may be having an unfortunate personal interpretation of the "scent."
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North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 15, 2021 2:32 PM CST
The bees certainly love these things. I've never seen so many bees on one plant!

I'm gonna say purpleinopp got this one!

Thanks!!! 👍🏼
[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 15, 2021 2:35 PM (+)]
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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
Jun 15, 2021 9:42 PM CST
There are also more than a few species in the Privet clan. You may or may not have Ligustrum sinense. In northeast US (you don't say where) you might also experience Ligustrum amurense, Ligustrum obtusilobum, Ligustrum ovalifolium, and Ligustrum vulgare.

As noted: fragrance is in the nose of the beholder. I love garlic and all that it brings to food and life. Others, not so much. Their loss. Privet flower fragrance produces quite a wide range of opinions, and you've experienced the gamut here.

As you have only given us two closeups of part of the plant, I won't chase the ID any further. I believe it to fit in the Ligustrum genus. You could bemuse us with pictures of the WHOLE plant, and then further images of branches, stems, flowers, fruit, leaves (upper and underside), lenticels, petioles, stipules, glands, and degree of hairiness.

https://garden.org/plants/sear...
John
North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 16, 2021 11:15 AM CST
Thank you ViburnumValley, all good points.

Regarding the scent. I agree that scent is in the nose of the beholder. But I would be shocked if anyone found the clearly floral scent of this plant to be repulsive or reminiscent of some of the things that some other plants discussed here apparently are. It is distinctively floral ... maybe in a slightly musky kind of way like a perfume, but I can't see anyone interpreting it as repulsive.

I can't get a good shot of this particular plant because it is gigantic and also growing under and into a larger evergreen tree. So its margins are obscured by the other tree. But I have another one elsewhere that I keep trimmed that I should be able to provide a shot of and will do so time permitting.

With regard to the other details, I'm not sure how much I can provide except I assume you are talking about a better closeup of the leaves, flowers and branches. I can give that a try but not sure how well it will come out. There was mention of distinctive wart like bumps on a Chinese Privet in the articles I read. I am not sure that these have those bumps. There are little protrusions that look like they are trying to become shoots off of the branches, but I don't think they fit that description. So you may be right, it might be some related species.



[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 16, 2021 11:16 AM (+)]
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North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 16, 2021 1:15 PM CST
Darn!

Went outside to get a pic of the other one. Looked like a good time to take it so I went inside to get my phone. By the time I got back out, my neighbor parked her car directly in front of the thing on the street! URRRRR. So I can't get a good shot of it.

I do want to take exception though to the idea that it is ugly. If it is trimmed, like that one is I think it is quite beautiful... especially when it is in bloom like this. I live near the ocean in the northeast US. So there is usually a nice breeze here. It reacts very nicely to that and I think it looks quite good (understanding that is also a matter of taste). I'll admit that my eye is about as weak as it gets at the art of aesthetic valuation. I'm a lot better at valuing corporations. But my 92 year old mother called it "pretty" a few days ago so how bad can it be?
North East USA
PlantlyChallenged
Jun 17, 2021 11:14 AM CST
Here is the wide shot...


Thumb of 2021-06-17/PlantlyChallenged/b489a8

On the immediate left of the subject there is a Rose of Sharon.

70 year old Arborvitaes that my father planted on the right which surround the property.

[Last edited by PlantlyChallenged - Jun 17, 2021 11:17 AM (+)]
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Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
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ViburnumValley
Jun 18, 2021 12:46 PM CST
It is hard to say a plant in flower is ugly; I'll grant you that.

I believe disparaging comments come easier from those who have experienced more of the negative aspects of how some introduced and invasive exotic plants BEHAVE. The Privet clan is unfortunately far too well known for its ease of distribution via animal/bird consumption of the copious fruit, depositing by droppings, and then nigh on every one germinating - oftentimes in natural areas where no one is available to weed them out. Once there, they reproduce unimpeded and overwhelm the native systems since there are few/no natural enemies or controls. THAT is ugly behavior, pretty or not.

Back to ID. Since you are already pruning these plants, cut off a nice sized chunk, lay it down somewhere in that pleasant coastal sunshine, and photo the dickens out of it. You should be able to corral a closeup of everything I listed, and possibly some more I didn't. Since the one you've shown is sheared, that doesn't help sort it out by habit or form. You might be surprised at how much some of us old codgers can ID from situations where you may not imagine it possible. Go ahead and let us decide about what you photo of the plant that is consorting with the conifer. Many times, the unadulterated form/behavior of a plant growing like that is enough to separate similar species. Not always, but sometimes.

I'm appreciating the 70 year old Thuja sp. That must be quite a landscape to treasure.
John

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