Online Encyclopedia

PRIVET

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 371 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PRIVET, in botany, the vernacular name of Ligustrum,'a genus of Oleaceae, containing about thirty-five species, natives ' Other vernacular names for the common species are prim, primprint, primwort and primrose. of temperate and tropical Asia; only the common privet is a native of Europe. They are shrubs or low trees with evergreen or nearly evergreen opposite entire leaves, and dense clusters of small, white, tubular four-parted flowers, enclosing two stamens and succeeded by small, globular, usually black berries, each with a single pendulous seed. The best-known species is the common European privet, L. vulgare, which makes good hedges; L. ovalifolium (a native of Japan) thrives by the seaside and even in towns; there is a yellow-leaved variety (var. variegatum), the leaves becoming white as they get older. L. lucidum (China) is taller and handsomer. There are numerous varieties of L. vulgare in cultivation; var. buxifolium has broader and more persistent leaves; var. fructu-luteum has bright yellow fruit; var. pendulum has long weeping branches; and var. variegatum has the leaves variegated with bright yellow. L. japonicum, L. Massalongianum (Khassia Hills) and other species are also cultivated. Mock-privet is Phillyrea, a member of the same order and a small genus of ornamental hardy evergreen shrubs, natives of the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor.
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