oleander


oleander
/oh"lee an'deuhr, oh'lee an"-/, n.
a poisonous shrub, Nerium oleander, of the dogbane family, native to southern Eurasia, having evergreen leaves and showy clusters of pink, red, or white flowers, and widely cultivated as an ornamental.
[1540-50; < ML oleander, oliandrum, obscurely akin to LL laurandrum, perh. a conflation of L laurus LAUREL and rhododendron RHODODENDRON]

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Any of the ornamental evergreen shrubs of the genus Nerium (dogbane family), which have poisonous milky juice.

Numerous varieties of flower colour in the common oleander, or rosebay (N. oleander), have been introduced from greenhouse culture and are grown outdoors in warmer climates. All parts of the plant are very toxic if eaten, and contact with them may cause skin irritation.

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▪ plant genus
      any of the ornamental evergreen shrubs of the genus Nerium, belonging to the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) and having a poisonous milky juice.

      The best known is the common oleander (N. oleander), often called rosebay. A native of the Mediterranean region, this plant is characterized by its tall shrubby habit and its thick lance-shaped opposite leaves. The flowers are borne in terminal clusters and are of a rose colour, rarely white or yellow. The hairy anthers adhere to the thickened stigma. The fruit or seed vessel consists of two long pods, which liberate a number of seeds, each of which has a tuft of silky hairs.

      The oleander was known to the Greeks under three names (rhododendron, nerion, and rhododaphne), as is well described by Pliny the Elder, who mentions its roselike flowers and poisonous qualities. The common oleander has long been cultivated in greenhouses, and numerous varieties have been introduced. The sweet oleander (N. indicum) is a smaller plant with vanilla-scented flowers. In warm countries oleanders are widely grown outdoors. All parts of the plant are very toxic if eaten, and contact with them may cause skin irritation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(Nerium oleander)


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • OLEANDER — (Heb. הַרְדּוּף mishnaic (harduf) or הִרְדּוּפְנִי (hirdufeni), the evergreen shrub with rose colored flowers that grows wild in Israel on the banks of rivers. Cultivated varieties having flowers of various colors are also grown. Its leaves are… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Oleander — O le*an der, n. [F. ol[ e]andre (cf. It. oleandro, LL. lorandrum), prob. corrupted, under the influence of laurus laurel, fr. L. rhododendron, Gr. ?; ? rose + ? tree.] (Bot.) A beautiful evergreen shrub ({Nerium oleander}) of the Dogbane family,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Oleánder — Oleánder, Lorbeerrose, Rosenlorbeer (Nerĭum), Pflanzengattg. der Apozynazeen, Sträucher wärmerer Gegenden. Gemeiner O. (N. Oleander L. [Abb. 1285]), Zierstrauch aus Südeuropa, mit lanzettförmigen Blättern und karminroten Blüten; alle Teile… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • oleander — (n.) rose bay, a poisonous evergreen Mediterranean shrub, c.1400, from M.L. oleander, probably (by influence of L. olea olive tree ) from L.L. lorandrum, from L. rhododendron (see RHODODENDRON (Cf. rhododendron)), itself altered by influence of L …   Etymology dictionary

  • Oleander — Oleander: Der Name des als Topfpflanze beliebten immergrünen Strauches (oder Baumes) des Mittelmeergebietes ist in dt. Texten seit dem 16. Jh. belegt. Er ist aus it. oleandro entlehnt, das unter Anlehnung an lat. olea »Olivenbaum« aus mlat.… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch


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