Oleander

Oleander

Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae)

Common Name:

Oleander

Scientific Name:

Nerium oleander (Apocynaceae)


Alternative common names:

Ceylon rose; dog-bane; double oleander; rose bay; rose laurel; South Sea rose (English), selonsroos (Afrikaans)

Description:

An evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 6m high with dark, dull-green leaves that are paler below and have distinctive veins and a prominent midrib. Pink, red or white flowers which are slightly aromatic, with a single row of petals, appear from September to March. It bears reddish-brown fruit follicles which are finger-like and 10-20cm long. They are ridged and split longitudinally into two halves with seeds that have tufts of hairs. The whole plant is highly toxic and lethal and the sap is a skin irritant.

Additional Information


Where does this species come from?

Mediterranean

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA 2020 - Category 1b

Where does this species come from?

Mediterranean

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Eastern and Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

How does it spread?

Seed dispersal.

Why is it a problem?

Competes with indigenous species. All parts of the plant are highly toxic and lethal to humans, birds and other animals.

What does it look like?

General description: An evergreen shrub or small tree growing up to 6m high.
Leaves: Dark, dull-green elongated leaves that are paler below with distinctive veins and a prominent midrib.
Flowers: Pink, red or white flowers that are slightly aromatic with a single row of petals appearing from September to March.
Fruit/seeds: Bears reddish-brown fruit follicles which are finger-like and 10-20cm long.

Does the plant have any uses?

Ornament and screening.

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