Monday, May 17, 2010

Nerium oleander

Oleander (Nerium oleander, (pronounced /ˈnɪəriəm ˈoʊliː.ændər/), is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the dogbane family Apocynaceae. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium. It has many other names. 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, and can be very toxic if ingested in sufficient quantity.

Oleander grows well in warm subtropical regions, where it is extensively used as an ornamental plant in landscapes, parks, and along roadsides. It is drought tolerant and will tolerate occasional light frost down to 10°F(-10°C). It is commonly used in landscaping freeway medians in California and other mild-winter states in the Continental United States because it is easily maintained.

It is deer resistant and tolerant of poor soils and drought. Oleander can also be grown in cooler climates in greenhouses and conservatories, or as indoor plants that can be kept outside in the summer. Oleander flowers are showy and fragrant and are grown for these reasons. Over 400 cultivars have been named, with several additional flower colours not found in wild plants having been selected, including red, purple, pink and orange; white and a variety of pinks are the most common. Many cultivars also have double flowers.

Young plants grow best in spaces where they do not have to compete with other plants for nutrients. In India it is common to see school children, pluck the oleander flowers, and suck the ends of the flower's pedicel, to reach the nectar.


See Also: Flowers, Florist, Florists

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