common privet Oleaceae Ligustrum
vulgare L. symbol: LIVU
Leaf: Opposite, simple deciduous (semi-evergreen in warmer areas), lanceolate to narrow oblong, entire margins, dark green, 1 to 2 inches long, glabrous midveins (maybe a few hairs early in the growing season)
Flower: 1 to 3 inch long terminal dense clusters of small white very fragrant flowers, tips of anthers do not extend past petals, appearing in late spring on only terminal twigs.
Fruit: Shiny black drupes, 1/4 inch across, ripen in late summer and persist through winter.
Twig: Slender, gray brown, glaborous or with a few hairs, opposite thorn-like short twigs often persist.
Bark: Smooth gray-brown with numerous lighter horizontal lenticels.
Form: Shrub reaching up to 15 feet tall typically with numerous main stems.
Looks like: Chinese privet - border privet - Japanese privet - Amur privet
Additional Range Information: Ligustrum vulgare is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See the full-size PDF map.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range map source information