Privet

It is a semi-evergreen or deciduous shrub, growing to 3 m (rarely up to 5 m) tall. The stems are stiff, erect, with grey-brown bark spotted with small brown lenticels. The leaves are borne in decussate opposite pairs, sub-shiny green, narrow oval to lanceolate, 26 cm long and 0.51.5 cm broad. The flowers are produced in mid summer in panicles 3-6 cm long, each flower creamy-white, with a tubular base and a four-lobed corolla ('petals') 46 mm diameter. The flowers produce a strong, sweet fragrance that many people find unpleasant. The fruit is a small glossy black berry 68 mm diameter, containing one to four seeds. The berries are poisonous to humans but readily eaten by thrushes, which disperse the seeds in their droppings.