Privet, Ligustrum lucidum and vulgare
Origin: the Privet, Ligustrum lucidum, is a tree of China, Korea, Japan, while the common Privet, Ligustrum vulgare, is a shrub, native to Europe, to North Africa.
Etymology: the Latin name, Ligustrum, comes from ligare, "to link", allusion to the suppleness of the stems which served in basketry.
Habitat: Cool and clear Forests, hedges, humid hedged farmlands, uncultivated places. The privet prefers the limestone. It fits to altitude until 800 m tall.
Hardiness: zone 7 (it supports cold until -17 °C or 1 °F).
Height: 20 m tall. Other privets are shrubs (3 m).
Rate of Growth: slow.
Bark carrying white lenticels.
Shape: rounded crown.
Persistent foliage. Tough, opposite leaves, shining green, smooth margin, and in elliptical and pointed form. Length: 5-8 cm. It would be possible to confuse it with some hybrid hollies, but the leaf is more sharpened, lanceolate, and often folded up on the median vein which is very marked. It carries a short ruddy petiole.
Flowers grouped in panicles, at the end of the stem, long up to 18 cm, appearing in summer; flowers are small, or even insignificant, white-cream, welded petals. They exude a fragrance, stubborn, based on trimethylamine.
Fruits: oval berries pruinoses and of a bluish black, in October. Size: 0,8 cm.
Use: ornamental tree because of its persistent foliage.
From the bark of the Privet, a yellow tincture is extracted.
Stems are used in basketry.
Flowers and dried leaves of the Privet are astringent and healing. Mortified in the oil flowers give a balsam which relieves rheumatic pain and cellulitis.
Fruits give a purple ink and a dye for the wine.
The fruit produces gastric annoyance.
Where to see it in Paris: in the angle of the Embassy of the United States, near the Place of she Concorde (respectable pruning).
Common privet, Ligustrum vulgare
Height: 5 m tall.
Rate of Growth: slow.
Habitat: sparsely demanding in soil and position, but does not appreciate drought too much. Its roots are harmful for the neighbouring plants.
Persistent foliage. Tough, opposite leaves, shining green, smooth margin. Variety L. latifolium has broader leaves, L. to tricolour is in leaves edged with rose to the young shoots, while L. excelsum superbum present of the edged and blotchy leaves of cream yellow (other common patch with the Holly which has an aurea variety).
Use: the common Privet, Ligustrum vulgare, is planted in hedge. It supports pruning. Its stems were used in basketry.
Maintenance: 2 or 3 pruning a year, to give it an harmonious form. It supports an aggressive regeneration pruning, on the condition of helping it with manure.
Reproduction: by cutting branches in summer, or in November, with the wood.