English name: Common oleander
Latin name: Nerium oleander
Family: Dogbane - Apocynaceae
Origin: Mediterranean Basin, Southwest Asia
Oleander, a shrub or small tree, reaches a height of two to six metres. The glossy, dark green leaves are leathery, lanceolate, and arranged in pairs or in three-leaf whorls. Their edges are smooth, and they are wedge-shaped at the base; they grow to a length of about 16 cm. long and a width of 3 cm. The flowers are pink, red or white; gathered in corymbs (inflorescences which appear flat-topped, as the flowers reach the same height), they are quite large, with a diameter of 5 cm., and fragrant. This shrub blossoms from May to September. Oleander is a poisonous plant; its leaves, shoots and flowers contain cardiac glycosides, so poisoning may occur if any of these parts is ingested.