/priv"it/, n.any of various deciduous or evergreen shrubs of the genus Ligustrum, esp. L. vulgare, having clusters of small white flowers and commonly grown as a hedge.[1535-45; orig. uncert.]
* * *Any of about 40–50 species of shrubs and small trees in the genus Ligustrum of the olive family that are widely used for hedges, screens, and ornamental plantings.Native to Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Mediterranean, these evergreen or deciduous plants have usually oval, smooth-edged leaves; creamy-white, often odorous clusters of flowers; and black berries. The hardy common privet (L. vulgare), native to northeastern Europe and Britain and naturalized in northeastern North America, is used widely as a hedge plant. Mock privets belong to the genus Phillyrea (same family) and bear small, bright-red fruits that turn purple-black as they mature.
* * *▪ plantany of about 40 to 50 species of shrubs and small trees belonging to the genus Ligustrum of the family Oleaceae that are widely used for hedges, screens, and ornamental plantings. Privets—native to Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Mediterranean region—are evergreen or deciduous plants with opposite, usually oval, smooth-margined leaves; creamy-white, often odorous, terminal clusters of flowers; and one- to four-seeded black berries.The hardy common privet (L. vulgare), native to northeastern Europe and Great Britain and naturalized in northeastern North America, is widely used as a hedge plant. It reaches about 4.5 m (15 feet). Glossy privet (L. lucidum), from eastern Asia, is a 9-metre tree in areas with mild winters. It has 25-centimetre (10-inch) flower clusters in summer. Japanese privet (L. japonicum), about 4.7 m tall, has very glossy leaves. It also requires mild winters, as does the smaller leaved California privet (L. ovalifolium) from Japan, commonly grown as a hedge plant. All four species have variegated forms.
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