HORTICULTURAL IMPEX
Nerium Oleander

Nerium Oleander

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Description:

Nerium oleander  is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae, toxic in all its parts. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It is most commonly known as oleander, from its superficial resemblance to the unrelated olive Olea, but has many other names. It is so widely cultivated that no precise region of origin has been identified, though southwest Asia has been suggested. The ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco took its name from the old Latin name for the flower. Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants.

Oleander grows to 2-6 m tall, with erect stems that splay outward as they mature; first-year stems have a glaucous bloom, while mature stems have a grayish bark. The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and leathery, dark-green, narrow lanceolate, 5-21 cm long and 1-3.5 cm - broad, and with an entire margin. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink to red, 2.5-5 cm diameter, with a deeply 5-lobed fringed corolla round the central corolla tube. They are often, but not always, sweet-scented. The fruit is a long narrow capsule 5-23 cm long, which splits open at maturity to release numerous downy seeds.