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Genus Ligustrum Family Oleaceae
Common Name: Privet

Description: Much-branched shrubs or small trees, glabrous or the young growth pubescent.

Leaves opposite, simple, margins entire; petiolate.

Inflorescences terminal panicles. Flowers bisexual, fragrant. Calyx tubular, 4-toothed. Corolla funnel-shaped, 4 lobed, spreading, white. Stamens 2. Ovary 2-locular, 2 ovules per loculus.

Fruit drupaceous; seeds usually 2 or 1 by abortion.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 40–50 species, Mediterranean, Malesia. Australia: 4 species (1 species endemic, 3 species naturalized), Qld, N.S.W., S.A., Tas.

Fruit and leaves of L. lucidum are suspected of being poisonous to stock and small children. Pollen has also been noted to cause an allergic reaction.

Text by D. W. Hardin
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Leaves with lamina usually 6–12 cm long, 3–5 cm wide; petioles 10–20 mm long; panicles more than 15 cm longLigustrum lucidum
Leaves with lamina mostly 3–6 cm long, 1–2.5 cm wide; petioles 1–7 mm long; panicles less than 15 cm long2
2Leaves pubescent at least on the midrib on the lower surface, branchlets pubescent; petioles 3–7 mm longLigustrum sinense
Leaves and branchlets glabrous; petioles 1–3 mm long
                       Back to 1
Ligustrum vulgare

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