Privet (Ligustrum vulgare)

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Wild Privet should be familiar to everyone as a plant of garden hedges. Wild specimens tend to grow on chalky or sandy soils and can reach a height of about 12 to 15 feet. The leaves are small, oval, opposite and pointed. In early summer small spikes of white flowers appear, to be replaced in Autumn by small dense clusters of pea-sized black berries. These are highly poisonous to humans and animals, containing terpenoid glycosides which cause vomiting and diarrhoea.