Inflorescence ~ Panicle
Privet berries are part of the Oleaceae Family (Olive) and Ligustrum Genus (Privet). The Ligustrum shrub produces small white fragrant flowers in paniclesduring the spring in the south and in the summer in northern climates. The flowers then give rise to green berries which ripen into blue (fall) then finally black (winter). Due to the weight of the berries as well as the inflorescence*, these have a tendency to drape in arrangements.
The first species of privet was introduced into the United States in the 1700s as an ornamental plant used as a hedge or foliage for gardens. All privet species are considered to be invasive in the southeast US. Don’t make the mistake of (insert favorite English accent) planting a nice privet hedge between you and your neighbors.
*inflorescence – cluster of flowers on a branch or a system of branches. An inflorescence is categorized on the basis of the arrangement of flowers on a main axis and by the timing of its flowering.
Difference between Privet and Blue Viburnum
We get questions all the time about the difference between privet and blue viburnum. Here are a few key notables.
- Privet – Fall/Winter
- Blue Viburnum – Late Summer
- Privet – berry clusters in panicles, draping look in arrangements
- Blue Viburnum – berry clusters in cymes, more upright in arrangements