Ligustrum vulgare L.

Fully-hardy, bushy, deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves, to 6cm long, and panicles, to 5cm long, of white flowers in summer, followed by black fruit.  To 3m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Commonly used for ornamental hedging in England and probably an ancient garden plant.  ‘Privet or prim Print.  Ligustrum.  This is a low shrub; the leaves are a grass green, the flowers white & the berries black.  It grows in hedges and flowers in May and June, ye berries being ripe in September.  The leaves and flowers are accounted cooling drying and astringent; good for ulcers & inflammation of ye throat, bleeding of the gums and relaxation of the uvula.  Dioscorides commends the flowers steeped in vinegar as good for the head-ach.’  [Blackwell pl.140/1737].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.636/1843].  A significant weed in the gardens and surrounding countryside.


Ligustrum vulgare Thunb. (1784) = Ligustrum ovalifolium Hassk.

Published Jan 20, 2010 - 12:10 PM | Last updated Jul 28, 2010 - 02:47 PM

Figured are the lance-shaped leaves and round black berries.  Blackwell pl.140, 1737.

Ligustrum vulgare L. | Blackwell pl.140/1737 | BHL

More details about Ligustrum vulgare L.
Family Oleaceae
Region of origin

Europe to Asia

Common Name

Common privet

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ligustrum vulgare – Privet 

Confidence level high