Directory       News       Site Map       Home
    Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Previous taxon


Thomas J. Rosatti, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, often vine; sap generally milky. Leaf: simple, alternate, opposite, subwhorled to whorled, entire; stipules 0 or small, finger-like. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, cyme, generally umbel- or raceme-like, or flowers 1–2. Flower: bisexual, radial; perianth parts, especially petals, overlapped, twisted to right or left, at least in bud; sepals generally 5, fused at base, often reflexed, persistent; petals generally 5, fused in basal ± 1/2; stamens generally 5, attached to corolla tube or throat, alternate lobes, free or fused to form filament column and anther head, filament column then generally with 5 free or fused, ± elaborate appendages abaxially, pollen ± free or removed in pairs of pollinia; nectaries 0 or near ovaries, then 2 or 5[10], or in stigmatic chambers; ovaries 2, superior or ± so, free [fused]; style tips, stigmas generally fused into massive pistil head. Fruit: 1–2 follicles, (capsule), [berry, drupe]. Seed: many, often with tuft of hairs at 1 or both ends.
200–450 genera, 3000–5000 species: all continents, especially tropics, subtropical South America, southern Africa; many ornamental (including Asclepias, Hoya, Nerium, Plumeria, Stapelia); cardiac glycosides, produced by some members formerly treated in Asclepiadaceae, used as arrow poisons, in medicine to control heart function, and by various insects for defense. [Fishbein 2001 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 88:603–623] Asclepiadaceae ("asclepiads"), although monophyletic, included in Apocynaceae because otherwise the latter is paraphyletic. Complexity of floral structure, variation in asclepiads arguably greatest among all angiosperms. Pattern of carpel fusion (carpels free in ovule-bearing region, fused above), present ± throughout Apocynaceae (in broad sense), nearly unknown in other angiosperms. Base chromosome number generally 11; abundance of latex, generally small size of chromosomes evidently have impeded cytological investigations. —Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Civeyrel et al. 1998 Molec Phylogen Evol 9:517–527; Rosatti 1989 J Arnold Arbor 70:307–401]

Key to Apocynaceae

Shrub, small tree; sap not milky. Leaf: generally whorled or subwhorled (opposite). Inflorescence: cyme, terminal, branched. Flower: corolla funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, with 5 petal-like appendages alternate stamens; filaments free, attached at base of corolla tube, short, broad, unappendaged, anthers free, forming cone around and adherent to stigma, each partly sterile, sharp-sagittate, with a long, twisting, hairy appendage, pollen ± free; nectaries 0; ovaries initially free, ± adherent, becoming fused, style ± 0, stigma massive, ovoid, obscurely 2-lobed. Fruit: septicidal capsule, slender, cylindric, pointed. Seed: with tuft of long hairs at 1 end.
1–3 species: Mediterranean, subtropical Asia, Japan. (Greek for Oleander, from resemblance of leaves to those of olive, Olea)

Leaf: 6–20 cm, linear- to oblong-lanceolate, evergreen. Inflorescence: generally exceeding leaves. Flower: often double, sterile; calyx ± leaf-like, lobes 4–6 mm; corolla 2–6 cm wide, white to ± yellow to red-purple. Fruit: 8–20 cm.
2n=22. Highway medians, roadsides, streamsides; < 700 m. Klamath Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sacramento Valley, Central Coast, South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges, Sonoran Desert; Utah, Texas to North Carolina, Florida. Widely planted as ornamental, especially along highways; plants often persist long after cultivation, may reproduce vegetatively but evidently not sexually without human fostering; latex (± colorless) of all parts lethally poisonous, even in small quantities. Jun–Sep [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Nerium
Next taxon: Vinca


Name search

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Nerium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

Copyright © 2014 Regents of the University of California
We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.

click for enlargement Nerium oleander
See CalPhotos for additional images
2006 Luigi Rignanese

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Nerium oleander Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records


CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.