Nerium oleander - L.
Common Oleander
Other English Common Names: Oleander, Rose-Bay
Other Common Names: oleander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Nerium oleander L. (TSN 30184)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144510
Element Code: PDAPO0F010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Dogbane Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Gentianales Apocynaceae Nerium
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Nerium oleander
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), California (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, CAexotic, FLexotic, GA, LAexotic, MSexotic, TXexotic, UTexotic

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Low/Insignificant
Rounded I-Rank: Low
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Nerium oleander is widely recognized for its extremely poisonous qualities. Therefore it is often considered a 'bad' plant. There is also some anecdotal evidence on gardening forums that the "red" and "white" oleanders are very invasive. Given the over 400 cultivars of N. oleander, it is not surprising that a range of seed viability and establishment within gardens exists. Despite these two characteristics, it is virtually unknown from natural areas, colonizing primarily along streambanks and riparian corridors. There is no recommended method for removal at this time.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Low
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 30Jun2004
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Mediterranean region (Tutin et al. 1972; Little 1979) to western China (Griffiths 1994).

Download "An Invasive Species Assessment Protocol: Evaluating Non-Native Plants for their Impact on Biodiversity". (PDF, 1.03MB)
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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Persistent and escaping locally (Little 1979).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Low/Insignificant

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Assumed as no ecosystem effects were found during the review.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: A shrub or small tree (Gilman and Watson 1994). Not associated with canopy smothering behavior (PIER 2004).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Assumed as no community effects were found during the review.

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:High/Low significance
Comments: Oleander is toxic if eaten, inhaled or touched to animals.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: May be found in riparian areas in California (CalEPPC 1999).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Found in the southern US from North Carolina to Texas, as well as California and Utah (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Considered but not listed on California Invasive Plant Council list (CalEPPC 1999).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Potential to occur in over 50% of the ecoregions in the US (inferred from Kartesz 1999 and TNC 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Low significance
Comments: May be found in riparian areas in California (CalEPPC 1999).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Low

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Low significance
Comments: Inferred from current distribution (Kartesz 1999) and potential range.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Insignificant
Comments: Not cold tolerant (estimates of minimum temperature at which plant can not survive range from 15 to 52 F). USDA hardiness zones 9 - 11 (Gilman and Watson 1994).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High significance
Comments: Adapted for wind dispersal ('parachute seed'). Widely cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions of the world with the development of over 400 cultivars (Griffiths 1994).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Assumed as there were no reports of local expansion other than from cultivation.

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Unknown

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:Low significance
Comments: Found in Australia (riparian areas) and South Africa; naturalized throughout the world (Griffiths 1994; Australia DEH 2004). In Fiji, Oleander is found near creeks (PIER 2004).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Will flower year-round (Gilman and Watson 1994). Produces lots of seed (>1000/m2) (PIER 2004).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: Defoliated by the Oleander caterpillar (Gilman and Watson 1994). It is not recommended to burn this plant as the smoke is considered poisonous.

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Unknown

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Unknown

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High significance
Comments: Oleander is a popular ornamental shrub.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Australian Government, Department of Environment and Heritage. 2004, January 22, 2004 - last update. Potentially environmental weeds in Australia - appendix C - potential environmental weed species that have histories as weeds overseas but are too widespread to be eradicated from Australia. Available: http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/potential/. (Accessed 2004).

  • California Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1999. The CalEPPC List: Exotic Pest Plants of Greatest Ecological Concern in California. Available: http://groups.ucanr.org/ceppc/Pest_Plant_List/. (Accessed 2004).

  • Gilman, E.F. and D.G. Watson. 1994. Nerium oleander Oleander. USFS Southern Group of State Foresters. Fact Sheet ST-412. Available: http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/. (Accessed 2004).

  • Griffiths, M. 1994. Index of garden plants: the new royal horticultural society dictionary. MacMillan Press Ltd, London. 1234 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). 2004. Nerium oleander. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Institute of Pacific Island Forestry. Available at http://www.hear.org/pier/species/nerium_oleander.htm (accessed June 2004).

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Tutin, T.G., V.H. Heywood, N.A. Burges, D.M. Moore, D.H. Valentine, S.M. Walters, and D.A. Webb. 1972. Flora Europaea. Vol. 3. Diapensiaceae to Myoporaceae. Cambridge University Press, London. 370 pp.

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