Nerium oleander

Species:Nerium oleander Linnaeus
Common Name:Oleander
Habitat:Persisting from cultivation at old home sites.
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Shrub
Plant Notes:Oleander is an introduced evergreen shrub in the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). It is native to the Mediterranean region, east through Iran and Indian to southern China. It is widely cultivated and occasionally persist in south Alabama. Oleander is a multi-trunked shrub reaching 15-20 feet in height. Young stems are green and glaucous, older stems have smooth gray bark. Leaves are opposite or whorled, sessile or short petiolate, linear to lanceolate in outline, with entire margins. The leaves are leathery with a prominent mid-vein and numerous lateral veins. The leaves are glabrous and waxy. Flowers are produced in a terminal corymb. The flowers are showy and fragrant. The flowers are funnelform tapering to a cylindrical base with 5 spreading corolla lobes. The stamens are connected to a fringe in the center of the flower. Flower color ranges from red to pink, white, or yellowish. Plants with “doubled” flowers are available in the horticultural trade. The fruit is a follicle with numerous pilose seed. Oleander is cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. It was a prominent plant in the gardens of ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean. Oleander is drought and salt tolerant, making it a popular plant along beaches. All parts of Oleander are highly toxic to if consumed. Burning of any parts of the plant produce toxic fumes. There are several cases of people being poisoned after using Oleander stems to roast hot dogs or marshmallows while at the beach. Oleander prefers full sun and a well-draining soil. In north Alabama plants are often severely damaged or killed by winter temperature. In these areas, it can be grown in a container and brought indoors for the winter. Plants can be rooted from stem cuttings.--A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyAPOCYNACEAE - Dogbane family
Genus Nerium
Species Nerium oleander Linnaeus - Oleander


Citation NERIUM OLEANDER Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 209. 1753.
Basionym: **
Type: Without data (holotype: LINN 300.1). Lectotypified by Markgraf, in L. B. Smith, Fl. Ilus. Catarin., Apoc. 78. 1968.

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Nerium flavescens Nerium flavescens Di Spino ex Roemer & Schultes, Syst. Veg. 4: 410. 1819.  
Nerium floridum Nerium floridum Salisbury, Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 147. 1796, nom. illegit.Nerium oleander Linnaeus 1753. 
Nerium indicum Nerium indicum Miller, Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 1768. INDIA: Without data (holotype: BM).
Nerium indicum subsp. kotschyi Nerium indicum Miller, subsp. kotschyi (Boissier) Rechinger f., Fl. Iran. 103: 3. 1974.Nerium kotschyi Boissier 1846. 
Nerium kotschyi Nerium kotschyi Boissier, Diagn. Pl. Orient. 1(7): 21. 1846. IRAN: Kuh-Delu, s.d., Kotschy 558 (holotype: G; isotypes: BM, BP, C, FI, FI-W, K, P, UPS, W, WAG).
Nerium latifolium Nerium latifolium Miller, Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 1768. Without data, Herb. Miller s.n. (holotype: BM).
Nerium lauriforme Nerium lauriforme Lamarck, Fl. Franc. 2: 299. 1779 ("1778"), nom. illegit.Nerium oleander Linnaeus 1753. 
Nerium mascatense Nerium mascatense Alph. de Candolle, in de Candolle, Prodr. 8: 421. 1844. OMAN: Masqat, s.d., Aucher-Eloy 4925 (holotype: G-DC; isotypes: BM, FI, FI-W, K, P).
Nerium odoratum Nerium odoratum Lamarck, Encycl. 3: 456. 1792, nom. illegit.Nerium odorum Aiton 1789. 
Nerium odorum Nerium odorum Salisbury, Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 147. 1796, nom. illegit. et non Solander 1789.Nerium latifolium Miller 1768. 
Nerium odorum Nerium odorum Aiton, Hort. Kew. 1: 297. 1789. INDIA: Malabar: Without data (lectotype: Rheede, Hort. Malab. 9: 3, t. 2. 1689). Lectotypified by Leeuwenberg, Meded. Landbouwhoogeschool 83(7): 57. 1983.
Nerium odorum var. kotschyi Nerium odorum Aiton, var. kotschyi (Boissier) Boissier, Fl. Orient. 4: 48. 1875.Nerium kotschyi Boissier 1846. 
Nerium oleander subsp. kurdicum Nerium oleander Linnaeus, subsp. kurdicum Rechinger f., Fl. Iran. 103: 2. 1974. YUGOSLAVIA: Dalmatia: Without locality, s.d., Rechinger 12141 (holotype: W).
Nerium oleander var. indicum Nerium oleander Linnaeus, var. indicum (Miller) O. Degener & Greenwell, Fl. Hawaii 1: Fam. 305. 1952.Nerium indicum Miller 1768. 
Nerium oleander var. roseum Nerium oleander Linnaeus, var. roseum Stokes, Bot. Mat. Med. 1: 498. 1812, nom. inadmiss.Nerium oleander Linnaeus 1753. 
Nerium splendens Nerium splendens Paxton, Paxton's Mag. Bot. 3: 73. 1837.  
Nerium thyrsiflorum Nerium thyrsiflorum Paxton, Paxton's Mag. Bot. 3: 73. 1837. Without data (lectotype: Paxton, Paxton's Mag. Bot. 3: 73, plate. 1837). Lectotypified by Leeuwenberg, Meded. Landbouwhoogeschool 83(7): 57. 1983.
Nerium verecundum Nerium verecundum Salisbury, Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 147. 1796, nom. illegit.Nerium odorum Aiton 1789. 

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Baldwin, Chilton, Lee, Mobile, Russell

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: AMAL, AUA, JSU, TROY, UNA, UNAF

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
AUA_ACC020558 Russell 12 JUL 1969 MOORE, HAROLD D.
JSU120462 Baldwin 15 Jun 1993 D. D. Spaulding
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
AUA000032669 Lee 11 Jun 2010 HANSEN, CURTIS J.
JSU120464 Baldwin 17 May 1974 Kenneth E. Landers
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
UNAF0000493 Baldwin 12 May 1962 Landers, K.E.
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
TROY000014382 Lee 18 Oct 2006 Daniel D. Spaulding
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
JSU120463 Baldwin 17 May 1974 K. E. Landers
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
UNA00060535 Baldwin 18 Mar 1950 W. A. Stallard
Nerium oleander L.
AMAL00004263 Mobile 28 Mar 2012 Howard E. Horne
Nerium oleander Linnaeus
AMAL00013953 Lee 18 Oct 2006 Daniel D. Spaulding
Nerium oleander L.
AUA_ACC003888 Lee 2 MAY 1954 GAISSER, ROY
AUA_ACC010182 Baldwin 12 MAY 1962 KEIRCE, S. C.
AUA_ACC007078 Chilton 1 OCT 1958 GLASSCOCK, M. R.
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