This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Shrubs or small trees, with opposite entire simple leaves, and small white complete flowers in terminal thyrses or panicles. Calyx small, truncate or 4-toothed, inferior. Corolla gamopetalous, funnelform, its tube mostly short, the limb 4-lobed, the lobes induplicate-valvate in the bud. Stamens 2, inserted on the tube of the corolla; filaments short. Ovary 2-celled; ovules 2 in each cavity, pendulous; style short or slender; stigma thickened. Fruit a 1-3-seeded mostly globose berry. [The classical Latin name.]
About 35 species, natives of the Old World, the following typical.
Ligustrum vulgare L. Sp. Pl. 7. 1753.
A shrub, 6°-10° high, the branches long and slender. Leaves firm, tardily deciduous, glabrous, lanceolate or oblong, acute or obtuse at the apex, narrowed at the base, short-petioled, 9"-2 long, 3"-7" wide, obscurely veined; panicles dense, short, minutely pubescent; flowers white, about 3" broad; pedicels very short; stamens included; berries globose, black, 2"-3" in diameter.
In thickets and along roadsides, escaped from cultivation, Maine and Massachusetts to Ontario, western New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Native of Europe and Asia. Used for hedges. June-July. Old English names, primwort, print, skedge, skedgwith.