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a genus of deciduous or evergreen shrubs, more rarely small trees, of the family Oleaceae. The leaves are opposite and simple. The flowers are bisexual, in terminal paniculate or racemose clusters. The fruit is a berryshaped drupe. There are about 40 species; in the USSR there are three species. The most important is the common privet (L. vulgare), a deciduous shrub 2–5 m high with opposite simple leaves and fragrant, melliferous flowers. It blooms in May and June after the leaves have appeared. The fruits are blue-black with purple flesh and three-sided seeds; they ripen in September and October and remain on the plant for a long time. Common privet grows wild in the southwestern European part of the USSR, in the Crimea and the Caucasus, and also in southern and western Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor. It is grown as a decorative plant. It takes well to cutting, forming dense attractive hedges. Common privet is used in field-protective and ravine plantings. A sometimes black, green, or other-colored substance that is used for textile dyes is obtained from the fruit.
A. P. SHIMANIUK