(Nerium oleander)
Nerium oleander


A robust, evergreen, leggy shrub with bitter and highly poisonous sap. Has dark green lance-shaped leaves in pairs or threes. Pink, white or sometimes purple flowers appear between May and July. Fruits are long and cylindrical releasing numerous feathery seeds.


Common all over Cyprus along water courses and in damp ravines from sea-level to 3,000 ft. Also commonly used as an ornamental plant, particularly along roadsides.

Uses and Properties

The milky, poisonous juice of the leaves and flowers are rich in salicine and other alkaloids. Preparations from the plant are used as a cardiant, while infusions are used externally against psoriasis. Oleander leaves shoved into the entrance of a rats' burrow will kill the occupants as they eat the leaves in an effort to escape.