Wild privet is a semi-evergreen shrub found throughout the British Isles, but is rare in Wales and in the north of Scotland. However, it should not be confused with the garden privet, (Ligustrum ovalifolium) which is a native of Japan, and commonly grown as garden hedges.
Wild privet is found on calcareous soils, and is particularly abundant on the chalk downs. It is found in hedgerows, along woodland edges and rides and often forms dense thickets. It is frequently found growing with hawthorn, and can grow up to a height of twelve feet.
The creamy white flowers are produced in June and July, and are pollinated by a variety of insects attracted to their strong smell. The flowers are followed by shiny black berries produced in dense clusters in October.