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neium oleander L.
Oleander, Rose Bay, Rose Bay Tree, Rose Laurel.
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Cornidae; Gentianales; Apocynaceae
First proved and introduced by Hahnemann: Mat. Med. Pura. Vol. II, 270; Allen: Encyclop. Mat. Med., Vol. VII, 138.
Description of the substance
An evergreen ornamental shrub to 12 feet high and as wide with white, pink or red flowers in spring and summer. The leaves resemble olive and bay trees. The flowers have five petals and resemble a tiny rose. It thrives in hot, mild climates and tolerates considerable drought, poor drainage and high salt content in the soil. Since deer will not eat this plant and it is so tolerant of a variety of poor soils, it is commonly used as a decorative freeway median in California and other mild-winter states in the USA.
All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and other animals. Children should be cautioned against eating the leaves and flowers. Prunings and dead leaves should be kept away from hay or other animal feed. The wood should not be used for barbecue fires or skewers. The smoke can cause severe irritation. John Gerard says (from "The Herbal, or General History of Plants", 1633 edition),
"This tree being outwardly applied, as Galen saith, hath a digesting faculty; but if it be inwardly taken it is deadly and poisonsome, not only to men, but also to most kinds of beasts."
An evergreen shrub or a small tree up to 6m. Leaves: opposite in pairs or in whorls of 3, narrowly oblong - lanceolate, 6.20 cm in length and 1.3cm. in width leathery, transversely feather veined. Flowers: salver shaped, pink or white, scentless, in terminal cymes; calyx with many glands inside at the base; corolla tube cylindrical at the base; throat bell - shaped and containing 5 wide of narrow teeth; lobes twisted to the right; anthers 2 - tailed at the base, appendages of the anthers scarcely protruding; style 1; ovaries 2, forming pods; follicles 8 to 15 cm long, straight appressed, longitudinally striate, yellowish - green to light brown. Seeds numerous with tuft of brown hairs. [A Modern Herbal; Mrs. M. Grieve]
Macroscopical: Multi - layered upper and lower epidermis of compactly arranged thick - walled cells covered with cuticle; stomata confined to lower epidermis, present in stomatal pits lined by unicellular hairs; mesophyll differentiated in to palisade cells on both surfaces and loosely arranged spongy parenchyma cells both containing chloroplast; mid - rib possessing U - shaped vascular bundle, the protoxylem towards the upper side and phloem on both sides. Other important features are the long fibres, crystals of calcium oxalate and unbranched or branched laticifiers in the mid - rib region.
Native of Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the Levant; Asia Minor, the East Indies, and Africa; and on the rocks of Corsica. About the banks of rivers, in low moist situations. In Italy, it usually decorates courtyards. (Hamilton's Flora)