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Forestiera acuminata (Eastern swamp privet)
Simpson, Benny

Forestiera acuminata

Forestiera acuminata (Michx.) Poir.

Eastern swamp privet, Swamp privet, Texas privet

Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Synonym(s): Forestiera acuminata var. vestita

USDA Symbol: foac

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Eastern swamp privet is often shrubby in the wild, but can be grown as a small tree, 25-35 ft. tall. Glossy-green, pointed-oval leaves are arranged in pairs on bright green, new twigs. Older branches are ivory-gray and the trunk has smooth, brownish bark, often covered with lichens and liverworts. Yellow flowers, most showy on male plants, occur in small, axillary clusters on the previous season growth before new leaves develop. The fruit, on female plants is a purple-black, olive-like drupe.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Breeding System: Dioecious
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 12-36 ft. , 36-72 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , OK , SC , TN , TX
Native Distribution: FL to e. TX, n. to SC, s. IN, s. IL, MO, s.e. KS & OK
Native Habitat: Lowland woods; swamp forests; rocky edges of streams & ponds

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Wet soils or standing water.
Conditions Comments: Males and females must be planted together to produce fruit for wildlife. A purely ornamental planting can be established with males alone. Deer and rabbits can injure young plants by browsing.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Forestiera acuminata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Forestiera acuminata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Forestiera acuminata


Record Modified: 2015-11-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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