Japanese privet is a dense evergreen shrub that reaches 8 to 12 feet in height. Small, white flowers with an unpleasant smell are produced in spring and summer, followed by dark berries.
Japanese privet was introduced to the United States in the 1800s from Japan and Korea. Throughout much of the southern United States, it is considered an invasive plant. Japanese privet forms dense thickets when uncontrolled, causing the death of many native plants. The plant is one of the seven plants listed as invasive and detrimental to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. When properly controlled, it forms into a small tree that is attractive in many landscapes.