Plant A Day – Border Privet

Border Privet Ligustrum obtusifolium

Border Privet
Ligustrum obtusifolium

There are two kinds of Privet that are naturalized in Indiana; Border Privet and European or Common Privet.

They are both non-native plants that were brought over for landscaping purposes.  My own experience with them is to find them at the locations of old homesteads or farms.  The same sort of places that you find daffodils and wisteria growing.  They seem to hang around for a long time after the homes are gone, but don’t spread too much.  I’ve read that in other places they’re quite invasive, but not in my experience in northeast Indiana.

The two species are similar.  Some differences are:

1. For Border Privet, the smaller twigs and flower stems are hairy, but not in the European Privet.

2. The flower clusters of Border Privet are 1-2 inches in length, while they are usually longer in European Privet.

3. The flower tubes of the Border Privet are long, twice as long as the petals, while in the European Privet they are about the same length as the petals.

Zoom in a bit to see that the twigs are hairy.  European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) twigs are not hairy.

Zoom in a bit to see that the twigs are hairy. European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare) twigs are not hairy.

The clusters of flowers are smaller than European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

The clusters of flowers are smaller than European Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

Border Privet was often planted along borders, amazingly enough.

Border Privet was often planted along borders, amazingly enough.

A typical branch of Border Privet.  They're just a jumble of leaves.

A typical branch of Border Privet. They’re just a jumble of leaves.

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