Privet Ligustrum vulgare
Family: Oleaceae (Olive)
Branching: Opposite / Sub-opposite

This is an introduced shrub from Europe that is very commonly used for hedges.  It escapes quite often in southern Ontario and can be found in many woodlots.  It looks somewhat similar to Common Buckthorn (twigs) but it usually quite distinctive.  Like Buckthorn it is often "sub-opposite" where the buds on vigorous shoots appear alternate.  One other characteristic is that its fruits occur at the end of the branches and are often seen throughout the winter; also its leaves are sometimes seen.

Winter twig of Privet.  The buds are not usually so green

Privet drops its leaves very late and often some can be seen at the top of the branches
in the winter.

Lateral buds of Privet

Privet fruits are dark and occur at the end of the branches.

Another view of the end bud

Slightly sub-opposite placement of buds on a vigorous shoot.  
Sometimes this is so drastic as to look completely alternate

Back to the main page

copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
please email me with any questions, comments, or errors