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Nerium oleander

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ApocynaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: 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. Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: NeriumView Description 

Common Name: OLEANDER
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: 1--3 species: Mediterranean, subtropical Asia, Japan. Etymology: (Greek for Oleander, from resemblance of leaves to those of olive, Olea)
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti

Nerium oleander L.
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. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Highway medians, roadsides, streamsides; Elevation: < 700 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, n SNF, ScV, CCo, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR, DSon; Distribution Outside California: Utah, Texas to North Carolina, Florida. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep Note: 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.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas J. Rosatti
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Citation for this treatment: Thomas J. Rosatti 2017. Nerium oleander, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Nerium oleander:
KR, n SNF, ScV, CCo, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR, DSon;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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).

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