One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shrub of the olive family, with small white heavily scented flowers and poisonous black berries.
Genus Ligustrum, family Oleaceae: several species, in particular the evergreen L. ovalifolium, often used as hedging in towns
- ‘Plants such as privet or barberry need severe pruning immediately after planting and at the beginning of the second year to make them bushy.’
- ‘Yaupon and privet together constitute 86-96% of total fruit eaten by Hermit Thrushes at our study sites.’
- ‘The overstory and understory are dominated by hackberry and privet, respectively.’
- ‘It had been a lilac, possibly, or an ancient privet.’
- ‘Chinese privet is present in eight of the 16 management areas surveyed.’
- ‘And every so often, despised water descended from the sky, flooding the hollows under the privet where he preferred to lie before an owl swooped from nowhere one night and carried him away.’
- ‘The front garden, behind the privet, was clipped to within an inch of its life, with a single standard rose in the dead centre.’
- ‘Chinese privet is most abundant along margins of gravel and paved roads, where it often forms dense, impenetrable stands with relatively dark understories.’
- ‘Swirling robins and starlings competed for the red berries of the barberry and the blue berries of the privet.’
- ‘Is it a fad, or an unscrupulous plot against favorite exotic ornamentals like privet or barberry, or perhaps a revelation borne from scrutinizing eyes on the workings of our natural world?’
- ‘The front garden includes an evergreen magnolia, topiary spirals in pots, standard privets as well as hardy plantings in terracotta pots.’
- ‘It's a technique that can be applied not only to yew but also to beech, privet, holly, hornbeam and box.’
- ‘When you plant a new hedge, prune vigorous shrubs, such as privet, by reducing the length of the branches and shrub height by one-fourth to one-third.’
- ‘Raspberry, blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes had died, the privet hedge would soon be gone and vegetables wouldn't grow in the garden, only one of two affected.’
- ‘The planting included oak, ash, crab-apple, field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn, privet and dogwood and down by the ponds in River Field two areas of willows were planted.’
- ‘Foot long panicles of creamy blooms arrive in June with a scent that reminds me of privet.’
- ‘There is parking in the communal gardens, which has a curving driveway, mature trees and shrubs, all bordered by a privet hedge.’
- ‘He thought he saw a shadow move beneath the privet, but put it down to his paranoia and drew in a sharp breath.’
- ‘Instead of a privet hedge, why not train apple trees to clothe a lattice?’
- ‘Cut leafless stems of rose, abelia, bridal wreath, privet and other plants into 8-to - 10-inch lengths and set them directly in the propagation bed or container.’
Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.
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