Curly-leaf Japanese privet is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden. (Richie Steffen)

Curly-leaf Japanese privet is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Ligustrum japonicum ‘Rotundifolium,’ curly-leaf Japanese privet

This evergreen shurb is jam-packed with leaves, offering great textural interest in the garden.

What: A curious evergreen shrub, Ligustrum japonicum “Rotundifolium,” or curly-leaf Japanese privet, has thick, dark green leaves that are shiny and rounded. The foliage almost seems jam-packed on the branches offering great textural interest in the garden from a plant that doesn’t get huge — in fact, it generally only reaches 4 to 6 feet tall, about half the height of the species. It was introduced into North American cultivation in 1860 by Robert Fortune, a Scottish botanist and plant hunter.

Where: Plant in full sun to light or dappled shade. Will grow fine in almost any soil type except wet.

Size: “Rotundifolium” will grow to be 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide when mature.

Care: Water occasionally during dry weather.

— Richie Steffen,

Great Plant Picks

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