Nerium oleander
oleander

Apocynaceae (dogbane family)
Mediterranean
Oleander leaf, flower. From: Howard E. McMinn & Evelyn Maino, An Illustrated Manual of Pacific Coast Trees

Common as a screening shrub with colorful white, pink, or red flowers. Is resistant to neglect and can be grown as a tree. Four-inch seed pods are generously packed with what seems to be a disproportionate amount of fluff for traveling on the breezes. Leaves and flowers and fruit are poisonous but presumably taste pretty bad judging from the fact that they are grown in some school yards. The tree form can be seen behind Building 100 (with the lemon-scented gums) and at the intersections of Welch Road and Pasteur Drive. There is a low hedge on Dueña Street by the Old Union and a tall hedge at 727 Mayfield Avenue.

Name derivation: Nerium – the Gk name for this plant; oleander – from oleandra, the Italian name for olive, referring to the olive-like leaves.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.