Nerium oleander – Oleander

Nerium oleander - Oleander

Nerium oleander - Oleander

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Nerium oleander

Common Name: Oleander

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized and widely cultivated garden and landscaping plant is native to the Mediterranean region.

Habitat: Riparian. It grows in rocky desert washes and in other locations where it can get some extra water.

Flower Color: Pink, White, Red, Yellow

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Height: To 12 feet (3.7 m) tall

Description: The flowers are clustered at the branch tips. The individual flowers are funnel-shaped, up to 2 inches (5 cm) across, and have 5 lobes. The flowers are followed by long, slender, 2-lobed seedpods that split open when ripe to release the seeds. The leaves are dark green, leathery, and lanceolate or narrowly elliptical in shape.

Special Characteristics

Poisonous – The plants and especially the leaves and stems are highly poisonous and contain toxic nerioside, oleandroside, saponins, and cardiac glycosides.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae – Dogbane family
Genus: Nerium L. – oleander
Species: Nerium oleander L. – oleander

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map