Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Ligustrum robustum
(Roxb.) Blume, Oleaceae
No images for this taxon


Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Other Latin names:  Ligustrum walkeri Decne.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: cu zhuang nu zhen

English: tree privet, wild privet

French: troéne du japon

Habit:  shrub/tree

Description:  "Shrub or small tree, twigs conspicuously white-speckled; leaves ovate to lanceolate, to 3 in. long, acute at apex and base, entire, glabrous; flowers in erect, terminal panicles 4-6 inches long" (Bailey & Bailey, 1976).

Subsp. walkeri (Decne.) P.S. Green:  "Evergreen shrub or small tree to 10 m tall.  Young stems lenticulate, glabrous or minutely puberulous.  Leaf with petiole glabrous; lamina lanceolate, glabrous, 3-9 x 1.5-2.5 cm, margin entire; base rounded or obtuse, attenuate into the petiole; apex acute-attenuate; venation somewhat obscure, 5-7 primary veins per side.  Inflorescence terminal, pyramidal, paniculate, many-flowered, scented, 7-20 cm long, glabrate or minutely puberulous.  Calyx campanulate, 1 mm long, more or less entire or with 4 very shallow triangular teeth.  Corolla tube 1 mm long, lobes 4, valvate, 2 mm long, more or less reflexed at anthesis.  Stamens 2, exserted, filament inserted at top of the corolla tube, 1.5 mm long; anthers narrowly oblong, 1 mm long.  ovary rounded, 0.5 mm; style 1.5 mm long, stigma terminal, more or less fused, elongate.  Fruit a berry, ellipsoid, 7-10 x 4-5 mm, bluish-purple when ripe"  (Dassanayake, ed., 1963; p. 271).

Subsp. chinenseShrubs or small trees 1-10 m, deciduous. Branchlets terete, sparsely puberulent, glabrescent. Petiole 2-8 mm, pubescent or glabrescent; leaf blade lanceolate to subovate or elliptic, 4-11 x 2-4 cm, papery, glabrous or sometimes puberulent along midrib adaxially, base broadly cuneate or subrounded, apex long acuminate; primary veins 5 or 6 on each side of midrib. Panicles terminal, 5-15 x 3-11 cm; rachis angular in fruit, puberulent. Pedicel 0-2 mm. Calyx ca. 1 mm, minutely hirsute or glabrescent. Corolla 4-5 mm; tube ca. as long as lobes. Stamens nearly reaching apex of corolla lobes; anthers 1.5-1.8 mm. Fruit black, reniform or long obovoid, 7-10(-12) x 3-6 mm, curved"  (Flora of China online).

Habitat/ecology:  Privets are extremely aggressive and can form dense, impenetrable thickets that crowd out desirable plants. They are prolific seed producers.  "[L. robustum var. walkeri] occurs up to 1,500 m in wet and intermediate low montane regions in India and in the submontane forest in Sri Lanka, at an altitude of between 725 m and 1,650 m; it often grows near streams (Lavergne et al., 1999).  "Wet and intermediate low montane regions.  Secondary montane forest, often near a stream, 450-2000 m altitude"  (Dassanayake, ed., 1963; p. 271).

Propagation:  Seed. "Fruit are injested by birds and spread in their droppings, dispersing the seeds over long distances and creating new "foci" of infestation" (Lavergne et al., 1999).  "Under shaded conditions [L. robustum var. walkeri] does not bear fruit.  The juvenile period is shortest in open areas and longest under forest canopy.  It is possible to delay sexual maturity by preserving a dense forest cover"   (Kueffer & Lavergne, 2004, p. 25).

Native range:  South-central and southeastern Asia, China; also cultivated and naturalized (GRIN).

Presence:

Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
MacDonald, I. A. W./Thebaud, C./Strahm, W. A./Strasberg, D. (1991) (pp. 51-61)
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Lavergne, Christophe (2006)
Ligustrum robustum (Roxb.) Blume subsp. walkeri (Decne) P.S. Green, "Très envahissant". Also present: Ligustrum ovalifolium Hassk, "Cultivé/naturalisé"
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Kueffer, C./Lavergne, C. (2004) (p. 4)
Ligustrum robustum subsp. walkeri
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Baret, Stephane/Rouget, Mathieu/Richardson, David M./Lavergne, Christophe/Egoh, Benis/Dupont, Joel/Strasberg, Dominique (2006) (p. 758)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Lorence, D./Sussman, R. W. (1988) (pp. 187-204)
L. robustum var. walkeri (Decne.) Mansfr.).
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Mauritius Island introduced
invasive
Kueffer, C./Mauremootoo, J. (2004) (p. 6)
L. robustum var. walkeri (Decne.) Mansfr.).
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Rodrigues Island introduced
invasive
Cronk, Q. C. B./Fuller, J. L. (2001) (p. 166)
Mauritius
Mautitius Islands (Mauritius and Rodrigues)
Rodrigues Island introduced
invasive
Kueffer, C./Mauremootoo, J. (2004) (p. 6)
L. robustum var. walkeri (Decne.) Mansfr.).
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) introduced
invasive
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Naturalized

Control:  Additional information on control of Ligustrum spp. from the Bugwood Wiki.

Physical: Small plants may be hand pulled; older individuals need to be dug out.

Chemical:  For L. robustum var. walkeri in R‚union, "the most effective technique lasts for three years and is applied in natural, fairly undisturbed forests.  In the first year, seedlings are removed by hand and mature plants are cut at the base and then treated with a solution of glyphosate (Missile at 360 g/l).  Further control measures are necessary during the first two years after treatment to eliminate all regrowing plants.  The longevity of the seeds in the soil is rather short (maximum two years).  The systematic elimination of all seedlings and adults over a period of two years guarantees the total eradication of the species in a site.  Additionally, knowing that the minimum juvenile period is two years in open areas and 4-5 years under forest canopy, the control efforts need to be applied only every 2-4 years, according to light conditions"  (Kueffer & Lavergne, 2004, p. 24).

Biological: An investigation of possible biological control agents for L. robustum var. walkeri is under way on La Réunion.  "Among the 30 plant pathogen species collected, only one species, the mitosporic fungus Thedgonia ligustrina, is promising.  Twenty-one insect species were assessed and host specificity testing begin.  The epiplemid moth Epiplema albida seems to be a promising biocontrol agent.  Before releasing E. albida in Réunion, research is currently concentrating on collecting fresh E. albida material from Sri Lanka, eliminating its associated parasitoids, and then conducting complementary tests  in quarantine in Réunion"  (Kueffer & Lavergne, 2004, p. 25).


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This page was created on 15 DEC 2008 and was last updated on 18 MAY 2013.