Wild Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)
Wild Privet is a semi-evergreen which prefers light soils. It's rather larger and less compact than the garden privet (Ligustrum ovalifolium), originally from Japan and Korea, which is much more often used as a hedge plant. Wild Privet is a useful plant for mixed native hedges though, as it gives some screening in the winter months while growing much more quickly than native evergreen hedge plants like Yew or Holly. It should not, however, be planted in proximity to livestock. Its flowers are lovely, incidentally, but relatively shortlived and inconspicuous.
Value For Wildlife
It's a fabulous wildlife shrub, however. Wild Privet's sprays of small cream flowers attract a myriad of insects, although it doesn't produce much pollen. This means it's difficult to find in the archaeobotanical record, incidentally, but it seems to have been around in coastal areas for at least 3,000 years. Birds (especially Thrushes) enjoy the cover it affords and its black berries, which are poisonous to humans and other mammals.
Ligustrum vulgare is also a foodplant for 51 different butterfly and moth larvae, including the spectacular Privet Hawk Moth shown. Other Lepidoptera larvae that feed on Wild Privet include the Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Scalloped Hazel, and V-Pug.
Provenance certificates are available on request for Wild Privet plants, which are from the Southwest of England.
Privet suppliers: Perrie Hale Forest Nursery
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See our planting and size guide for details and tips on planting. These Wild Privet plants are all bare root, and are consequently available for delivery from November until March (please ask if you are interested in pot grown plants). During the lifting season there may be up to two weeks delay between placing the order and dispatching, due to weather conditions or pressure of orders, which are dealt with in date sequence. Orders for Ligustrum vulgare placed between March and September are confirmed in October ready for dispatch from November.
Time to Ultimate Height
Loam, sand, chalk
Neutral, acid, alkaline
Full shade, partial shade, full sun