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Privet

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Privet
Missing image
Ligustrum_obtusifolium.jpg



Japanese Deciduous Privet Ligustrum obtusifolium
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Lamiales
Family:Oleaceae
Genus:Ligustrum
Species

About 50 species; see text

Privet was originally the name for the European semi-evergreen shrub Ligustrum vulgare, and later also for the more reliably evergreen Ligustrum ovalifolium (Japanese privet), used extensively for privacy hedging (hence "privet", private). The term is now used for all members of the genus Ligustrum, which includes about 50 species of evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous shrubs and small trees, native to Europe, north Africa, Asia and Australasia, with the centre of diversity in Japan, China and the Himalaya. They are placed in the olive family Oleaceae.

The flowers are small and fragrant and borne in panicles. They have four curled-back petals and two high stamens with yellow or red anthers, between which is the low pistil; the petals and stamens fall off after the flower is fertilized, leaving the pistil in the calyx tube. Flowering starts after 330 growing degree days. The fruits, borne in clusters, are small purple to black drupes, poisonous for man but readily eaten by many birds. In favorable growing conditions, individual shrubs may produce thousands of fruits. Privet is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Common Marbled Carpet, Scalloped Hazel, Willow Beauty and Mottled Beauty.

Species
  • Ligustrum chenaultii. China (Yunnan).
  • Ligustrum compactum. Himalaya, southwest China.
  • Ligustrum confusum. Himalaya, Khasi Hills.
  • Ligustrum delavayanum. Southwest China, Myanmar.
  • Ligustrum gracile. China.
  • Ligustrum henryi. Central China.
  • Ligustrum ibota. Japan.
  • Ligustrum indicum. Himalaya, Indo-China
  • Ligustrum japonicum. Japan, Korea.
  • Ligustrum lucidum - Chinese or Glossy Privet. China, Japan, Korea.
  • Ligustrum massalongianum. Himalaya.
  • Ligustrum obtusifolium - Japanese Deciduous Privet. Japan.
  • Ligustrum ovalifolium - Japanese Privet. Japan.
  • Ligustrum pricei. Taiwan.
  • Ligustrum quihoui. China.
  • Ligustrum sempervirens. Western China.
  • Ligustrum sinense - Chinese Privet. Central China.
  • Ligustrum strongylophyllum. Central China.
  • Ligustrum tschonoskii. Japan.
  • Ligustrum vulgare - Common or European Privet. Europe, northwest Africa, southwest Asia.
Missing image
Illustration_Ligustrum_vulgare0.jpg
European Privet Ligustrum vulgare

In the some parts of the world where they are not native, some privet species have become invasive weeds, spreading into wilderness areas and displacing native species. This is particularly a problem in North America, where no species of the genus occurs naturally.

da:Liguster (Ligustrum vulgare) de:Liguster

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