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Common Weeds of Lane Cove


Weed Removal Techniques

Small-leaf Privet can be a shrub or small tree.

Small-leaf Privet leaves and berries

Large-leaf Privet grows as a small to medium tree.

Large-leaf Privet with unripe berries.

Ligustrum sinense & Ligustrum lucidum



Small-leaf Privet flowers, leaves  and berries

Broad-leaf Privet leaves and berries


You might have a privet or two down the backyard - they often grow along fence lines and in neglected corners. Sometimes there’s a big bushy clump where a tree was cut down, only to have regrown as a many-stemmed shrub. Seedlings come up in the garden too - usually as a single stem bearing along its length those noticeable opposite leaves.


If you’ve had some confusion about this well-known woody weed, it could be because there are two types: Small-leafed Privet (Ligustrum sinense) and Large-leafed Privet (Ligustrum lucidum), both growing to large shrubs or small trees, and both noxious.

The leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stems, and are dark green on the upper surface and paler on the underside. They are up to 12 cm long on Large-leafed Privet and up to 7 cm long with wavy edges on Small-leafed Privet.

Privet is most noticeable at flowering time when the air is heavy with that sickly-sweet scent that some of us find unpleasant to say the least. This occurs in spring (Small-leafed) and summer (Large-leafed). The flowering heads consist of numerous small white flowers and are followed by dense clusters of purplish-black berries in winter.

Privet was first brought to Australia as a hedging plant. But when hedges were left unclipped and allowed to fruit, it was party-time for the birds (particularly Currawongs) who dispersed the seed which readily germinates in this warm moist climate. In the bush, privet established to form thickets which crowded native bush plants.

Control & Removal Methods

Just pull out the small plants at seedling stage and up to a metre or so. If any roots snap off the Small-leafed Privet, get them out as they will regrow.

For larger plants you’ll need to dig, levering them out with a mattock and digging out the broken roots.

Or else poison them by lopping or sawing close to the ground level and immediately painting the stump with glyphosate herbicide.

There are many suitable local native shrubs and trees to grow in its place, once your Privet is gone.