Shrub or tree to 10 m (30 ft) tall. Crown open, irregular. Bark dark brown, ridged. Twigs light brown, slender with numerous lenticels, glabrous. Leaves opposite, simple, elliptical to oblong-ovate; 5-11 cm (2-4.5 in) long, 2.5-5 cm (1-2 in) wide; acuminate at apex, serrulate above the middle, glabrous, occasional hairs on veins beneath, yellowish green above, paler beneath, petioles slender, slightly winged at base, cuneate at base. Flowers in fascicles, subtended by yellow bracts, very small in size; calyx ring narrow and somewhat lobed, petals absent; ovary ovoid with slender style, 2-lobed stigmata; stamens 4, filaments long and slender. Fruits drupes, ovoid to oblong, dark purple to black, about 8 mm (0.3 in) long, light brown, maturing in early Summer and promptly shed.
Distribution: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, east to Florida, north to Tennessee, Indiana, and Missouri. Common to uncommon in eastern Oklahoma.
Habitat : lake margins, swamps and bottomland forests.
NWI status: FACW, OBL.
Comments: Forestiera is named in honor Charles Le Forestier, a seventeenth century French physician and botanist; acuminata refers to the acuminate leaves.
Wildlife benefits: the fruits of swamp privet are considered good food for waterfowl.
Distribution in Oklahoma:
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Last update: 9/10/99
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