Common name: Oleander • Hindi: Kaner कनेर • Manipuri: কবীৰৈ Kabirei • Tamil: அரளி Arali • Bengali: Raktakarabi
Botanical name: Nerium oleander Family: Apocynaceae (oleander family)
Synonyms: Nerium indicum
Beautiful blossoms, of fragrant pink flowers in bunches, at the tip of
branchlets rendering an eye-catching sight that is 'Oleander'.
A native of India and the Mediterranean, it is now widely
grown in tropical and subtropical gardens, parks, avenues, and is popular
for its hue and fragrance. It rises up to 3 meters erect with its short
branches and dark dusty green leathery narrow leaves, which grow in whorls.
The are narrow lancelike, 5-21 cm long and 1-3.5 cm broad, and with an entire
margin. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are
white, pink or yellow, 2.5-5 cm diameter, with 5 petals fringed at the base.
They are often, but not always, sweetly
scented. The fruit is a long narrow capsule 5-23 cm long, which splits open at
maturity to release numerous downy seeds.
The plants are almost free from pests and diseases and untouched by cattle
and goats, due to their toxicity. In India they are thus the most favoured
plants for the road dividers, where a plant has to withstand heat and dust,
and little water.
There are single and double forms in white, pink and red. Several other
cultivars have been developed - once example is a popular variety called 'Petit
Salmon' which is a dwarf that grows to only 4 ft (1.2 m).