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Nerium oleander, Oleander

Nerium oleander

Family: Apocynaceae
Origin: Mediterranean area
Large shrub 5-10 ftSmall tree 10-20 ftFull sunRegular waterModerate waterPink flowersWhite/off-white flowersRed/crimson/vinous flowersFragrantIrritatingPoisonous or toxicSubtropical, cold hardy at least to 30s F for a short timeSeaside, salt tolerant plant

This is a tall, erect shrub with stiff, lance-shaped leaves and frequent clusters of white, pink, purple, or red flowers that may be single or double. It will grow in subtropical conditions and is often seen in gardens of the American South. It is notably resistant to salty sea winds and prolonged drought and it generally prefers dry conditions, which is one reason it is used less often in wet regions like Singapore and Malaysia. Like most members of the Apocynaceae family, all flowers of the plant are poisonous; the smoke from burning clippings will produce a reaction in some people. Oleanders need full sun for good flowering and pruning to prevent them from becoming leggy. In areas of frequent rainfall they must be planted in very well-drained soil. They are propagated by cuttings or by air-layering.

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