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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Oleaceae
Tribus: Oleeae
Subtribus: Ligustrinae
Genus: Ligustrum
Sectiones: L. sect. Confusa – L. sect. Ligustrum – L. sect. Lucida – L. sect. Sarcocarpion – L. sect. Sinensia – L. sect. Unassigned


L. angustum – L. australianum – L. compactum – L. confusum – L. cumingianum – L. delavayanum – L. expansum – L. foliosum – L. gamblei – L. glomeratum – L. gracile – L. guangdongense – L. henryi – L. ibota – L. japonicum – L. leucanthum – L. lianum – L. lindleyi – L. liukiuense – L. lucidum – L. micranthum – L. morrisonense – L. myrsinites – L. nepalense – L. novoguineense – L. obovatilimbum – L. obtusifolium – L. ovalifolium – L. pricei – L. punctifolium – L. quihoui – L. retusum – L. robustum – L. salicinum – L. sempervirens – L. sinense – L. stenophyllum – L. strongylophyllum – L. tamakii – L. tenuipes – L. tschonoskii – L. undulatum – L. vulgare – L. xingrenense

Names in synonymy: L. microcarpum

Ligustrum L., Sp. Pl. 1: 7. 1753.

Type species: L. vulgare L.


Esquirolia H.Lév., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 441. 1912.
Faulia Raf., Fl. Tellur. 2: 84. 1836.
Ligustridium Spach, Hist. Veg. Phan. 7: 271. 1839.
Parasyringa W.W.Smith, Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinb. 27(1): 93. 1916.
Phlyarodoxa S.Moore, Journ. Bot. 13: 229. 1875.
Visiania DC., Prodr. 8: 289. 1844.


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 7. Reference page.
Qin, X.K. 2009. A New System of Ligustrum (Oleaceae). Acta Botanica Yunnanica 31(2): 97–116.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Ligustrum in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Dec 31. Reference page.

Vernacular names
العربية: تمرحنة
беларуская: Біручына
čeština: ptačí zob
dansk: Liguster
Deutsch: Liguster
Ελληνικά: Λιγούστρο
English: Privet
Esperanto: Ligustro
suomi: Likusterit
français: Troène
Gaeilge: Pribhéad
magyar: fagyal
հայերեն: Կիպրոս
Ido: Ligustro
日本語: イボタノキ属
ქართული: კვიდო
қазақша: Қынаағаш
Nederlands: Liguster
norsk nynorsk: Liguster
norsk: Ligusterslekta
ирон: Сахъхъæд
polski: ligustr
русский: Бирючина
සිංහල: Bora
slovenčina: zob
svenska: Ligustersläktet
Türkçe: Kurtbağrı
українська: Бирючина
中文: 女桢属

A privet is a flowering plant in the genus Ligustrum. The genus contains about 50 species of erect, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes forming small or medium-sized trees,[1] native to Europe, north Africa, Asia, many introduced and naturalised in Australasia, where only one species[2] extends as a native into Queensland.[3] Some species have become widely naturalized or invasive where introduced. Privet was originally the name for the European semi-evergreen shrub Ligustrum vulgare, and later also for the more reliably evergreen Ligustrum ovalifolium and its hybrid Ligustrum × ibolium used extensively for privacy hedging, though now the name is applied to all members of the genus.[4] The generic name was applied by Pliny the Elder (23–79 CE) to L. vulgare.[5] It is often suggested that the name privet is related to private, but the OED states that there is no evidence to support this.[6]


Privet is a group of shrubs and small trees of southern and eastern Asia, from the Himalayas extending into Australia. They may be evergreen or deciduous, and are tolerant of different soil types. They often have conspicuous heads of white flowers[7] followed by black berries.
Uses and cultivation

In addition to being cultivated to create ornamental hedges and foliage, privet is also widely used in horticulture and flower arrangements.[8] The oval leaf privet Ligustrum ovalifolium is used for hedges, while its flexible twigs are sometimes used as cords for lashing.[8] The tree species, especially Chinese privet is frequently used as a street tree in Europe, while other species including Ligustrum japonicum and Ligustrum quihoui are among the others also sometimes used as ornamental plants in gardens.[9] Privet became very popular in Britain as a replacement for ornamental railings around properties, which had been lost to the 1941 Government compulsorily requisitioning of all post-1850 iron gates and railings for the war effort[10] the idea being that the donated metal would be melted down for use in the manufacture of armaments in WWII, although this ultimately did not happen.[11] The remaining stubs of sawn-off railings can still be seen on many garden walls in the UK, often partly obscured by privet bushes.

Chinese privet is used in traditional herbal medicine.[12] The decoction of privet leaves or bark helps to treat diarrhea, stomach ulcers, chronic bowel problems, chapped lips, sore mouths and throats, and a wash for skin problems.[12] Privet leaves and bark have bitter properties that make a useful tea for improving appetite and digestion in chemotherapy patients.[12] Kuding is a Chinese tea made from either a Ligustrum or Ilex species.

Some species produce a fruit, which is mildly toxic to humans.[8][13] Symptoms from eating privet fruit include nausea, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, low blood pressure, and low body temperature.[8] At least some privet species are known to be toxic to horses.[14]

A plant may produce thousands of fruits, most of which are eaten by birds. Privet is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the common emerald, common marbled carpet, copper underwing, engrailed, mottled beauty, scalloped hazel, small angle shades, v-pug, privet hawk moth and willow beauty.
Main article: Privet as an invasive plant

Privet is a successful invasive species because of its ability to outcompete and therefore displace native vegetation, due to its adaptability. Various species are now a problem in North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Additional information

Privet (translated into German as Liguster) is a core part of Michael Frayn's novel Spies, which was published in 2002. In the Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling, the Dursley family lives at #4 Privet Drive. In the German translation, they live on Ligusterweg.
Selected species

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System lists eleven "accepted" species of Ligustrum.[15] Additional species are listed in other references.[16][17][18]

Ligustrum amamianum (China)
Ligustrum amurense (Northern China) – Amur privet
Ligustrum angustum (China)
Ligustrum australianum (Wet Tropics, NE. & C. Qld, Australia) – Australian privet[2][19]
Ligustrum chenaultii (Yunnan Province, China)
Ligustrum compactum (Himalayas, southwest China)
Ligustrum confusum (Himalayas, Khasi Hills)
Ligustrum delavayanum (Southwest China, Myanmar)
Ligustrum expansum (China)
Ligustrum glomeratum (Thailand, Malaysia)
Ligustrum gracile (China)
Ligustrum henryi (Central China)
Ligustrum ibota (Japan)
Ligustrum indicum (Himalayas, Indochina)
Ligustrum japonicum (Japan, Korea)
Ligustrum leucanthum (China)
Ligustrum lianum (China)
Ligustrum liukiuense (Taiwan)
Ligustrum longitubum (China)
Ligustrum lucidum (China, Japan, Korea) - Chinese privet, glossy privet
Ligustrum massalongianum (Himalayas)
Ligustrum micranthum (the Bonin Islands, the Volcano Islands)
Ligustrum microcarpum (Taiwan); often included in L. sinense.
Ligustrum morrisonense (Taiwan)
Ligustrum obovatilimbum (China)
Ligustrum obtusifolium (East Asia) – Japanese deciduous privet
Ligustrum ovalifolium (Japan) – Japanese privet, oval-leaved privet
Ligustrum pedunculare (China)
Ligustrum pricei (Taiwan)
Ligustrum punctifolium
Ligustrum quihoui (China)
Ligustrum retusum (China)
Ligustrum robustum (India to Vietnam)
Ligustrum sempervirens (Western China)
Ligustrum sinense (China, Taiwan) – Chinese privet
Ligustrum strongylophyllum (Central China)
Ligustrum tenuipes. (China)
Ligustrum tschonoskii (Japan)
Ligustrum vulgare (Europe, northwest Africa, southwest Asia) – common privet, European privet
Ligustrum xingrenense (China)
Ligustrum yunguiense (China)


Webb, C. J.; Sykes, W. R.; Garnock-Jones, P. J. 1988: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. IV. Naturalised Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, Dicotyledons. 4. Christchurch, New Zealand, Botany Division, D.S.I.R..
F.A. Zich; B.P.M Hyland; T. Whiffen; R.A. Kerrigan (2020). "Ligustrum australianum". Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, Edition 8. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Retrieved 6 March 2021.
RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
Casselman, Karen Leigh (11 August 1993). Craft of the Dyer: Colour from Plants and Lichens. ISBN 9780486276069.
Foster, Steven; Rebecca Johnson (2008). National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine. National Geographic Books. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-4262-0293-3.
"privet, n.1". Oxford English Dictionary.[dead link]
The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs.
Urbatch, L. "Chinese Privet: Plant Guide" (PDF). USDA and NRCS. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
European Garden Flora. 4 (2 ed.).
"So What Really Happened to our Railings?".
Foster, Steven; Johnson, Rebecca L. (2008). National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine. ISBN 9781426202933. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
"Plants for a Future".
"Nine poisonous plants horses should avoid".
"ITIS Standard Report Page - Ligustrum". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
Flora of China: Ligustrum
Flora of Taiwan: Ligustrum Archived 22 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
Flora Europaea: Ligustrum
"Species profile—Ligustrum australianum". Queensland Department of Environment and Science. Queensland Government. 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2021.

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