Common privet: Ligustrum vulgare Linnaeus
European privet: Ligustrum obtusifolium Sieb. & Zucc.
Common and European privets can form dense thickets that out competes native vegetation. The privets can invade natural areas such as floodplain forests, woodlands, and disturbed agricultural fields. They generally expand along fence-rows, windbreaks and roadsides. European privet is the more common invading privet in Indiana. Note – do not buy, sell, or plant common or European privet. <www.invasive.org>
In 100 Years of Change in the Distribution of Common Indiana Weeds by William and Edith Overlease (2002) reported that European privet was not found in Indiana in 1899 (Coulter’s Catalogue of Indiana Plants). In 1940, (Deam’s Flora) European privet was reported in the following counties: Gibson, Monroe, Montgomery, Posey, and St. Joseph. Deam noted that “no herbarium specimens were obtained.” In 2002, Overlease reported European privet was in 89 counties in Indiana, except for Benton, Jasper, and Lake.