Ligustrum vulgare (European privet) - Plant
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, 2?6 cm long and 0.5?1.5 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') 4?6 mm diameter. The flowers produce a strong, pungent fragrance that many people find unpleasant. The fruit is a small glossy black berry 6?8 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.