BugwoodWiki Article

European privet
Ligustrum vulgare L.


Ligustrum vulgare is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree that grows to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height. Trunks usually occur as multiple stems with many long, leafy branches.
Leaves are opposite, lanceolate, 1-2.4 in. (2.5-6 cm) long and 0.2-0.6 in. (0.5-1.5 cm) wide.
Flowering occurs from April to June, when panicles of white to cream flowers develop in terminal and upper axillary clusters. Pollen can cause an allergic reaction in some people.
The abundant fruits are spherical, 0.3-0.05 in. (1-1.3 cm) long. Fruit begins green and ripens to a dark purple to black color and persists into winter. Birds and wildlife eat the fruit and disperse the seeds. Seed soil viability is about one year. It also colonizes by root sprouts.
Ecological Threat
Ligustrums can tolerate a wide range of conditions. They form dense thickets invading fields, fencerows, roadsides, forest understories, and riparian sites. They can shade out and exclude native understory species, perhaps even reduce tree recruitment. Native to Europe and Asia, they are commonly used as ornamental shrubs and for hedgerows.


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Oleaceae
Genus: Ligustrum

Other System Links

Plants: LIVU
GRIN: 22101
ITIS: 32980
NPDN Host: 34625

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
wild privet


Category: Shrub or Subshrub