Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
 

 

Oleander

Nerium oleander species, hybrids and cultivars

Family: Apocynaceae


This old fashioned plant is very familiar to Queenslanders, although its well-known poisonous qualities have undoubtedly deterred many people from planting this tough shrub.

With the costs and restrictions associated with watering on the increase, however, it might be time to reconsider oleander. Especially in landscapes where children or livestock are unlikely to come into contact with the plant. They're drought and heat tolerant yet pretty, with flowers in a range of colours.

Actual incidence of poisoning is very rare considering how widespread they are. For more on toxicity see Plants and mushrooms (fungi) poisonous to people - Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service.

A popular ornamental the Mediterranean region, to which it's a native.

Some varieties are very tall (around 3 metres) but there a number of dwarf cultivars to choose from. Pink, Red and Salmon/Apricot flowered varieties are available on the market. 'Cherry Surprise' is a named cultivar. The "Mediterranean Rose" series comes in cream to pink shades and according to the distributors can be expected to reach 1-1.5m in ten years.



Where to buy Oleander plants

Most garden centres in areas where oleander grows are likely to carry a few types. However, if you're seeking a greater choice of colours or bulk quantities for hedging (for example), you may need to seek out alternative suppliers.






Oleanders in the Landscape

Click for larger images.
Oleander punctatum  Oleander punctatum  Oleander punctatum
Single pink, probably 'Punctatum'. This may be the same as 'Monsieur Belaguier'.

oleander Splendens oleander Splendens oleander Splendens
oleander Splendens
'Splendens' has a deep pink double flower on a large bush.

Madoni grandiflorum Madoni grandiflorum Madoni grandiflorum
Madoni grandiflorum Madoni grandiflorum
'Madoni grandiflorum' ('Madonna', 'Madonna Grandiflorum')

Souvenir d’August Roger Souvenir d’August Roger
Single pale pink, probably 'Souvenir d’August Roger'

Oleander Doctor Golfin Oleander Doctor Golfin
Single deep pink-red, possibly 'Doctor Golfin'

Oleander Petite Salmon
'Petite Salmon' is the most widely grown dwarf variety

Oleander seedpods Oleander seedpod
Seed pods on Nerium (late June, 2013 Brisbane)

Pruning

Various approaches and results of oleander pruning  Various approaches and results of oleander pruning  Various approaches and results of oleander pruning
A mature shrub of 'Splendens' thinned to a few trunks, but resprouting from the cut stumps

Various approaches and results of oleander pruning  Various approaches and results of oleander pruning  Various approaches and results of oleander pruning
A very old 'Punctatum' reduced by thinning, but heavy resprouting from base here too.


More Online Information


International Oleander Society Based in Galveston, Texas.
Oleander University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA (PDF)
Nerium oleander Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute, California
Nerium oleander Missouri Botanical Garden
Oleander Clemson University, South Carolina
Oleander Herself's Houston Garden (Blog)
Nerium oleander Landscape Plant Propagation Information, University of Florida
Common Crow Butterfly Australian Museum Online
Rare plant entry no 3. - Yellow NERIUM (Sunshine) Post at the "In the shade of a nut tree..." blog, Sydney
Notes on poisoning: Nerium oleander Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
Grow Oleanders, But Be Careful Charlotte County UF/IFAS Extension Service, Florida (PDF)

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