Oleaceae (olive family) Ligustrum

Ligustrum lucidum glossy privet

Ligustrum lucidum northeast of the Mausoleum. Sairus Patel, 24 Jun 2019
From: Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino, An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees

Formerly widely planted as a street tree in Palo Alto, glossy privets lined University Avenue before being replaced by London planes. They may be seen on Alvarado Row near Esplanada Way, along most of Cedro Way, and in many older homes. A specimen grows northeast of the Mausoleum.

A tall old glossy privet grew near the entrance to Memorial Church, in the inner southwest island of the Inner Quad. It was removed sometime between 2003 and 2015. Growing next to it, a pair of slender closely spaced trunks was thought to belong to a privet of a different species; it in fact sweet viburnum (Viburnum odoratissimum).

Panicles of blue-black berries ripen in spring after a fine show of small white flowers that give off a noticeable aroma.

Name derivation: Ligustrum – Latin ligulare, to tie, in reference to the use made of the flexible shoots; lucidum – glossy (the leaves).

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Sairus Patel noted the Inner Quad location removal and added the sweet viburnum ID Jul 2019. All locations verified, University Ave note added (SP, June 2020).