Ligustrum vulgare L.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Ligustrum vulgare' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/ligustrum/ligustrum-vulgare/). Accessed 2020-10-26.

Genus

Common Names

  • Common Privet

Glossary

glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
lax
Loose or open.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Ligustrum vulgare' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/ligustrum/ligustrum-vulgare/). Accessed 2020-10-26.

A deciduous or more or less evergreen shrub 6 to 10 ft high, of rather lax habit; young shoots covered with minute down. Leaves narrowly oval or lance-shaped, 1 to 212 in. long, 14 to 58 in. wide, glabrous. Flowers dull white, produced during June and July on erect compact panicles 1 to 2 in. long, terminating the twigs; they have a heavy odour objectionable to most people. Fruits globose or egg-shaped, black.

Native of Europe, including Britain, where it is considered wild from Yorkshire southwards. The common privet may nowadays be regarded almost as the Cinderella among shrubs. It is relegated to dark corners and other damp out-of-the-way places under the drip of trees, where scarcely anything else will grow. But one can scarcely wish it a better fate. With so many beautiful things available the privet is not needed; even in its own genus it is about the least attractive, and for hedges is now superseded by L. ovalifolium. Its flowers are under suspicion of producing a kind of hay-fever. The berries are eaten by birds.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

The geographical range of the common privet is wider than given in the first printing of this volume (and earlier editions), as it extends into south-west Asia and also occurs in North Africa.


'Aureum'

Leaves yellow.

'Buxifolium'

Leaves oval, scarcely 1 in. long; habit dense. Introduced to Kew before 1885.

'Insulense'

A variant of unknown origin with linear-oblong leaves 2 to 4{1/2} in. long, {1/2} to 1 in. wide, taper-pointed; young shoots velvety-downy. Flowers in a panicle 3 in. long and broad; fruits roundish oblong, {1/3} in. long, black (L. insulense Decne.; L. insulare Decne.; L. vulgare var. insulense (Decne.) Höfker).

'Lodense'

Of dwarf dense habit (hence ‘lodense’ – low and dense); leaves narrow, semi-persistent. Raised in the USA (L. vulgare f. nanum (Kohankie) Rehd.).

'Pyramidale'

Of dense, fastigiate habit. Put into commerce by Späth.Besides the ordinary form with black berries, three others, differing in their fruits, are, or have been, in cultivation: f. chlorocarpum (Loud.) Schelle, green-berried; f. leucocarpum (Sweet) Schelle, white-berried; and f. xanthocarpum (G. Don) Schelle, yellow-berried.

var. italicum (Mill.) Vahl

Synonyms
L. italicum Mill.
L. vulgare var. sempervirens Loud

A more regularly evergreen shrub than the type. This variant was much planted until displaced by the more reliably evergreen L. ovalifolium. It is common in the southern part of the range of the species.

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