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Ligustrum japonicum
Ligustrum japonicum 04.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Unranked: Angiosperms
Unranked: Eudicots
Unranked: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum
Species: L. japonicum
Binomial name
Ligustrum japonicum
Thunb.

Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese Privet or Wax-leaf Privet; Japanese: ネズミモチ) is a species of Ligustrum (privet) native to central and southern Japan (Honshū, Shikoku, Kyūshū, Okinawa) and Korea.

It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 2–5 m (rarely 6 m) tall, with smooth, pale grey-brown bark on the stems. The leaves are 5–10 cm long and 2–5 cm broad, glossy dark green above, paler glaucous to yellowish green below, thick and leathery textured, and with an entire margin. The flowers are white, with a four-lobed corolla 5–6 mm long; they are borne in clusters 7–15 cm long in early summer. The fruit is an oval drupe, 10 mm long, ripening purple-black with a glaucous waxy bloom in early winter; in Japan they are popularly likened to mouse or rat droppings. The species is closely related to the Chinese Ligustrum lucidum, differing in its smaller size (L. lucidum making a tree to over 10 m tall), and elongated oval (not subglobose) fruit.

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