Gordon took this picture back on May 8th. Neither Unc nor I recognized the flower laden branches, so Gordon took Unc out to where he had taken the photo. Unc came back in laughing!
Take a closer look at the dainty fairy like blossoms. How could we possibly hate this flowering shrub? Granted, neither Unc nor I remember this shrub every blooming so profusely before. This must be special year for it!
Grandma requested a start of this shrub from one of her friends in Kilmichael, back in the 1940's. The lady said, "OK, but you will regret it". Truer words have never been spoken.
The stuff has the nature of a terrorist! It sneaks into your lovely fence plantings of roses or other shrubs or flower beds and puts down an extensive root system and then seemingly overnight, it shoots up six, eight, ten feet tall...or MORE! Extracting the darned things sometimes requires a tractor to pull it out by the roots!
We've cut it to the ground and saturated the stump with Root-B-Gone only to have it spring back to life the next year!
It is the common privet hedge, (LIGUSTRUM vulgare). Read how much this guy does NOT love this shrub either! Garden centers still sell the stuff at ridiculously low prices, like 99 cents per plant or less. That should be a red flag as well!
So briefly what I learned about this plant that I rank among my most hated growing things along with Dock weed, cockleburr, Johnson grass, nut grass and Kudzu...is that the common privet hedge is HORRIBLE for people with allergies!
There are some vague herbal medicinal uses for this plant, but other herbs can do the same jobs, probably much better. The raw berries are poisonous for humans and probably pets.
Sure the birds love the berries, but that is how the darned thing is spread so far and wide, through bird poop. I'd rather plant something else for our birds!
If you want a hedge, think boxwood, think roses, think bamboo...ANYthing but the common privet hedge! (Unless you really dislike the people in your neighborhood and want to vex the neighborhood for generations to come!)
As you know, a post like this is not usual for me. I even love dandelions and many plants other people consider weeds. Some pretty flowering plants that I DO adore will be in a blog post very soon...to catch you up on what has been blooming around here this spring.