Ligustrum vulgare, the wild privet, is a large native shrub that makes a great country hedging plant. It's the only semi-evergreen in our range of privet hedge plants, losing its leaves in mid-winter in cold weather. This hardy, shade-tolerant bush is often planted to provide cover, while its berries are valuable food for all kinds of wildlife, including game. It's also the main food source of the privet hawk moth, Britain's largest native moth. Do bear in mind, however, that like other members of the privet family, the shoots and leaves of wild privet are poisonous, so keep it away from livestock. It will perform well in any averagely fertile soil, even in dry or quite damp places, where it is better than green privet . It's a natural choice for coastal hedging.
Wild privet has an average growth rate of 20-40cm a year, and it's ideal for a rural site, whereas Japanese privet and common privet are better suited to towns and cities. It's often planted as a mixed native hedge, where species such hawthorn and guelder rose will add to the berry and flower bonanza, attracting even more beneficial wildlife.
Wild privet is found all over Europe, parts of North Africa and eastwards as far as Iraq. It's been used extensively as hedging since Elizabethan times, but has been almost entirely replaced by green privet, which was introduced from Japan in the 1880s.