Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Ligustrum sp.

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Privets are deciduous shrubs from Europe with oppositely arranged buds and leaves. They commonly grow up to 10 feet The twigs are at right angles to the branchlets. Creamy white flowers appear in mid-June. These mature to a dense terminal cluster of black berries by summer. In late fall the leaves will turn a purplish tinge.

What is it used for?

The privet is popular in landscaping as a barrier or a hedge, or, as an ornamental.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

The privet can tolerate both shade and dry soil. Plant them 8 feet apart or 2 feet for a hedge.

What are its primary problems?

Twig kill on the privet can be extensive in severe winters. Twig blight and anthracnose can be a problem as well. Privets also tend to be weedy underneath.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.