Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Ligustrum Ibota

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Ligustrum ibota (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ligustrum ibota (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun and partial shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Well drained soil

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Oleaceae

Ligustrum ibota is an evergreen shrub with a bushy habit. Its glossy mid green leaves are ovate with entire wavy margins, up to 6cm long and 2cm broad. Its white flowers are small and tubular and appear as short terminal panicles. These are followed by small green berries which mature to blue/ black.

Ligustrum ibota, commonly known as the Ibota Privet, is native to Japan. In its native habitat it grows in thickets and woodlands.

The etymological root of the binomial name Ligustrum was an old name for the Privet plant. Ibota is derived from the Japanese name for this plant.

The landscape architect may find Ligustrum ibota useful as an evergreen hedge. It may be pruned to produce a formal or flowering informal form. It may also be used as a shrub at the back of a border. Care should be taken in locating this plant as its fruit is mildly toxic to humans when ingested.

Ecologically, Ligustrum ibota flowers are attractive to many species of pollinating insects. It fruit are attractive to some species of birds.

Ligustrum ibota Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ligustrum ibota Leaf (21/09/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ligustrum ibota prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

If maintaining Ligustrum ibota as a hedge, formal or informal, it plant should be trimmed after flowering.

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