Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Trees & Shrubs

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Description

This shrub can reach a maximum height of 5 meters. The branches grow in clusters from the base, with no trunk. It has a poisonous sap. The leaves grow in pairs or small whorled clusters, with each leaf able to grow up to 5 centimetres. The fruits are long and narrow, and when mature, split open to reveal the seeds, which are all silky-haired. These hairs help the seeds float through the air. The flowers are elegant, reddish-pink coloured.

Habitat

This plant grows mostly on the banks of rivers, in torrent beds, in ravines and other low elevations. It is however cultivated for gardens because of the flowers. It is a common shrub in warmer areas of Greece.

Protection status

This species is listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN Red List.

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