Wild Privet
(Ligustrum vulgare)
Simple
Linear
Opposite
Untoothed
Simple
Roundish
Opposite
Untoothed

leaves

Winter twig
Winter twig

fruits

branches and fruits

distribution map

The opposite leaves are long, oval, pointed and leathery. They are hairless, shiny above and paler below and have very short stalks.

ID check

Wild Privet is a deciduous or somewhat evergreen shrub, 3-4 m high with smooth, dark stems is often found in hedges, scrub and woodland margins. It grows mainly on dry, lime-rich, soils.

The young twigs are slightly hairy.

Conical clusters of white, strongly scented, 4-petalled, tubular flowers, 4-6mm across, appear at the end of stems in June and July.

The flowers develop into berries, black when ripe in September and October.

Facts

  • The dense, partially evergreen shrub gives good cover for birds in winter and the berries provide food for them.

  • The leaves are the main food of the caterpillars of the Privet Hawk Moth.

  • The fragrant flowers attract pollinating insects.

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