Common Privet

Ligustrum vulgare

Common Privet

Family: Oleaceae

Other Scientific Names:

Ligustrum insulare, Ligustrum insulense


Other Common Names: European privet, wild privet, privet-hedge
Weed class: monitor list
Native to: Parts of Europe, Asia, and north Africa

Why Is It a Noxious Weed?

This plant is on the monitor list - it is not a listed noxious weed in Washington. Please contact its sponsor Michael Bailey to report locations or for more information.

How would I identify it?

General Description

Upright to spreading, semi-deciduous shrub growing to up to 9 feet tall though sometimes taller.

Flower Description

Flowers in clusters at branch tips. Each flower white (to , with 4 petals united at base to form a short tube

Leaf description

Leaves are arranged opposite each other on stems. They are 1.2 to 2.4 inches (3-6 cm) long, longer than wide with widest part at middle or above the middle (lanceolate to oblanceolate). Leaves green with smooth margins.

Stem description

New stems growth is densely hair but wears off quickly, becoming hairless or nearly hairless. Young stems green, aging to gray with light gray-brown lenticels.

Fruit Seed Description

Fruit is a berry-like drupe with 2-4 seeds, black, 

May Be Confused With

There are other privet species used in landscapes. 

For More Information

UW Herbarium image database information on common privet

Invasive Plant Atlas information on common privet

Additional Photos