Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Nerium oleander: Not a Nice Treat to Eat!

Oleander with pink flowers thanks to A. BarraNerium oleander is one of the most interesting organisms on the face of the planet!  It can be found throughout the world in many warm habitats.  This plant is often used as an ornamental plant in many gardens and road medians because it is very resistant to many different plant killers such as predators, drought, and poor soil.

This plant is also very easy to spot.  It can vary in height but it is usually between 6 and 12 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide.  It can have many different kinds of flowers but the most common are pink, white, and red. These flowers grow in groups of 5.  It also has very long, narrow, leathery leaves that grow in bunches of 3.  For more about this see classifications.
Oleander leaves thanks to GreenWhite Oleander flower thanks to Alvesgaspar
You wouldn't know it just by looking at it, but this is one of the most toxic plants you could ever encounter.  Every single part of the organism could kill a human if ingested. It can also be deadly too if the plant is burned and the smoke is inhaled.  It reproduces via sexual reproduction and it gathers its nutrients through the process of photosynthesis.
Oleander growing out of a rock thanks to Rüdiger Meier
As common as Nerium oleander may be, this organism has been around for centuries.  It was first cultivated in the Nile River back around 3400-2475 BC and it was also planted and grown in holy forests in Ancient Greece.  Today Nerium oleander can be found all over the world in warm climates and even in places that many other plants could never survive!  See other facts about Nerium oleander.

I have researched this organism from many different primary and secondary sources and have used knowledge that I have gained through my BIO 203 course to help me create this website.

Created by: Jacob W. McGrath
Student at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse
April 18, 2013
Contact me mcgrath.jaco@uwlax.edu

Photo from top thanks to Ian W. Fieggen located here
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