Jul 11, 200610:39 AMThe Life
Desert flora: oleander
Jul 11, 2006 - 10:39 AMThe oleander (Nerium oleander) is a popular freeway divider out here in the desert. It's a member of the Dogbane family and contains the toxins oleandrin and nerioside, which are very similar to the poisonous chemical in foxglove (Digitalis).
These plants should never be placed where animals can have contact with them. Extra care needs to be taken in cases where leaves can fall into a pasture or in the vicinity of a confined, bored or hungry animal.
Oleander grows as a shrub or sometimes to the size of a small tree. The leaves are lance-shaped, thick and leathery, and grow opposite each other. Sometimes, leaves may grow in whorls. Flowers are showy, grow in large clusters at the ends of branches, and can be white or any shade of pink or red. [Click thumbnail for larger photo.]