COMMON NAME

European privet


FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME

Ligustrum vulgare L.


FAMILY NAME COMMON

Olive family


FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME

Ligustrum vulgare


IMAGES


Flowers and leaves

Flower close-up

Habit

Leaves

Flower close-up

NOMENCLATURE/SYNONYMS

Synonyms: None


DESCRIPTION

Botanical Glossary

Click here for a link to Ligustrum obtusifolium description.


SIMILAR SPECIES

Ligustrum obtusifolium Sieb. & Zucc (Border privet)
Ligustrum ovalifolium Hassk. (California privet)
Ligustrum sinense Lour. (Chinese privet)
Identifying the privets that escape and become naturalized is problematic. A positive identification can only be made when the plants are in flower, which is usually during a few weeks in June. Even then, exact determinations can be questionable because of the possibility of hybrids, cultivars, synonyms, and incorrect determinations. It is also unclear exactly what species occur in the region. To date, we know that Ligustrum obtusifolium, L. ovalifolium and L. vulgare have been reported from New England. Other species may be erroneously reported or represent species not currently documented from the region. Thus the chart below can only partially aid in privet identification. If you think you have found another species, please submit a flowering specimen with collection data to the IPANE Project.


REPRODUCTIVE/DISPERSAL MECHANISMS

Ligustrum vulgare reproduces by seeds. Like the other exotic Ligustrum species in New England, it is dispersed by birds that eat its fruits and defecate the seeds.


DISTRIBUTION


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND


HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND


THREATS

Like Ligustrum obtusifolium and L. sinense, this plant is capable of escaping to form dense thickets that can crowd out native species.


MANAGEMENT LINKS

The Nature Conservancy

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual


DOCUMENTATION NEEDS

Documentation required: Herbarium specimen or mounted snippet of a branch with flowers.
Best time for documentation: Summer.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Taxonomic Information

The PLANTS database
General information and a map

The Nature Conservancy
Extensive description and control information

University of Connecticut Plant Database
General information and photographs

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas
General information and native alternatives


REFERENCES

Bailey, L. H.  1949.  Manual of Cultivated Plants.  Macmillan, New York.

Dirr, M.A. 1998.  Manual of Woody Landscape Plants.  5th ed.  Stipes Publishing, Champaign, Illinois.

Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany 8th ed. American Book Co., Boston.

Gleason H.A. and A.C. Cronquist.  1991.  Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd ed.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Holmgren N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual.  New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Kollman, J. and Reiner, S.A. (1996) Light demands of shrub seedlings and their establishment within scrublands. Flora 191, 191-100.

Magee D.W and H.E. Ahles. 1999.  Flora of the Northeast. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst.

USDA, NRCS.  2001.  The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1. (http://plants.usda.gov).  National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.