FULL SCIENTIFIC NAME
Ligustrum vulgare L.
FAMILY NAME COMMON
FAMILY SCIENTIFIC NAME
Flowers and leaves
Click here for a link to Ligustrum obtusifolium description.
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.
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.
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION IN NEW ENGLAND
HABITATS IN NEW ENGLAND
Like Ligustrum obtusifolium and L. sinense, this plant is capable of escaping to form dense thickets that can crowd out native species.
Documentation required: Herbarium specimen or mounted snippet of a branch with flowers.
Best time for documentation: Summer.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System
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
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.