Herb: Privet

Latin name: Ligustrum ovalifolium

Family: Oleaceae (Olive Family)

Description of the plant:


4 m
(13 feet)


Habitat of Privet:

Thickets near the sea in C. and S. Japan.

Other uses of the herb:

A very good hedge plant, succeeding in maritime exposure and in many difficult situations. Very amenable to heavy trimming but fairly slow growing, especially when in an exposed position. It can take 9 - 10 years to make a 3 metres tall hedge in exposed positions. The cultivars "Aureum" and "Argenteum" are especially recommended.

Propagation of Privet:

The seed does not require any pre-treatment and can be sown in the spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Very easy. Cuttings of mature wood, 20 - 30cm in a sheltered outdoor bed in November/December. High percentage.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets near the sea in C. and S. Japan.

Medicinal use of Privet:

None known

Known hazards of Ligustrum ovalifolium:

Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is recorded as being mildly toxic and it is quite possible that other members of the genus also contain toxins.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.