Yellow oleander, Thevetia peruviana

shrub of the family Apocynaceae (Frangipanier, Rosebay, Thevetia peruviana)

Etymology: the Latin name Thevetia comes from André Thevet, French monk, who led explorations to Brazil and Guyana. Its common noun is due to the fact that it issues a milky sap (and toxin).
Origin: Tropical America, Peru.
Habitat: Thevetia prefers fertile soils, well drained, neutral in slightly sour. The humidity of air must be high. Thevetia does not support frost. In frost prone areas it is container plant, in the winter season brought inside a greenhouse or as a house plant.
Height: 4 m tall.
Leaves: persistent. They are alternate, simple form, lanceolate, acuminate, 8-14 cm in length and 1 cm broad; dark green top, shiny, beardless, clear underside; very short petiole (3 mm). They are grouped at the end of stems.
Flowers: isolated or grouped in cymes; of yellow colour. They are located at the end of stems. Their corolla, 3 - 7 cm long, has a characteristic form in funnel. It is composed of 5 petals overlapping. The flower is fragrant. Blossoming takes place from spring to autumn in temperate climate (the tropical areas have no spring neither autumn).
Fruit: triangular drupe of 4-5 cm broad, black, juicy. It is toxic.
Thevetia peruviana contains a milky sap containing a compound called thevetin that is used as a heart stimulant but in its natural form is extremely poisonous, as are all parts of the plants, especially the seeds.


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