Privet, an ornamental shrub, used chiefly in hedges. Privet grows rapidly in almost any soil. The most widely cultivated species in the United States is California privet, which is native to Japan. It has shiny, dark-green, oval leaves about two inches (5 cm) long, and clusters of small white flowers that have an unpleasant scent. Except in severe climates, California privet retains its leaves all winter. Common privet, or prim, native to Europe and northern Africa, is somewhat hardier but is evergreen only in warm regions.
California privet is Ligustrum ovalifolium; common, L. vulgare. Both belong to the olive family, Oleaceae.