A privet is a flowering plant in the genus Ligustrum. The genus contains about 50 species of erect, deciduous or evergreen shrubs, sometimes forming small or medium-sized trees, native to Europe, north Africa, Asia and Australasia. Some species have become widely naturalized or invasive where introduced. Privet was originally the name for the European semi-evergreen shrub Ligustrum vulgare, and later also for the more reliably evergreen Ligustrum ovalifolium used extensively for privacy hedging, though now the name is applied to all members of the genus. The generic name was applied by Pliny the Elder to L. vulgare. It is often suggested that the name privet is related to private, but the OED states that there is no evidence to support this.