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Ligustrum (Privet)


A genus of Oleaceae which is represented in almost every garden by the Oval-leaved Privet, a shrub in general use as a hedge plant. The Ligustrums may be either large or small, deciduous or evergreen shrubs. The majority are found in China or Japan; the Common Privet, Ligustrum vulgare, being found in Europe.

All grow readily in good soil, and some make handsome flowering bushes. Cuttings of most sorts root with ease in the open ground or cold frame. The Golden Privet, a variety of Ligustrum ovalifolium, is one of the very best variegated­leaved shrubs, and is found in most gardens. A selection of species follows:

Ligustrum Ibota, a deciduous shrub 6 or 8 feet high, with glabrous or very slightly hairy leaves, native of China and Japan. The flowers are white, and borne in August. There is a very similar plant with hairy leaves that is sometimes confused with this, but is not worth planting; its correct name is Ligustrum insulare.

Ligustrum Japonocum is a neat growing, Japanese shrub with dark green, ovate, evergreen leaves, introduced in 1845. When mature it is 5 or 6 feet high. The variety coriaceum is a curious, stunted looking plant of slow growth.

Ligustrum lucidum was sent from China in 1794. It is an evergreen with large leaves and upright panicles of white or cream flowers which appear in September.

Ligustrum ovalifolium, the Oval-leaved Privet, comes from Japan. The variety foliis aureis is the Golden-leaved Privet.

Ligustrum Quihoui is a deciduous, Chinese shrub 8 feet in height, bearing long inflorescences of white flowers in September.

Ligustrum Sinensc - This is a Chinese species, and probably the most ornamental of all. It was introduced m 1874, and forms a large bush or small tree, 20 feet high, bearing light green, evergreen or sub-evergreen leaves and an abundant crop of white or cream coloured flowers in July, which are followed by black fruits.

Ligustrum vulgare is the Common Privet.