Among these compounds are oleandrin and oleandrigenin , known as cardiac glycosides , which are known to have a narrow therapeutic index and can be toxic when ingested. Plants may suffer damage or die back in such marginal climates during severe winter cold, but will rebound from the roots. Some scholars believe it to be the rhodon rose , also called the 'Rose of Jericho', mentioned in apocryphal writings Ecclesiasticus XXIV, 13  dating back to between and BC. However loutish the American-born sons of the family may be, there was never one who refused to give his muscle to the back-breaking task of getting those tubbed trees down into the cellar in the fall and up into the sunlight in the spring. There is also a variegated form, 'Variegata', featuring leaves striped in yellow and white.
For this reason gardeners are advised to prune mature shrubs in the autumn to shape and induce lush new growth and flowering for the following spring. Ecology[ edit ] Some invertebrates are known to be unaffected by oleander toxins, and feed on the plants. As such it can be difficult to identify at first because gardeners may mistake the symptoms for those of drought stress or nutrient deficiency. This morning Thea saw to her delight that the two oleander trees, one white and one red, had been brought up from their winter quarters in the cellar. Caterpillars of the polka-dot wasp moth Syntomeida epilais feed specifically on oleanders and survive by eating only the pulp surrounding the leaf-veins, avoiding the fibers. The Egyptians apparently called it scinphe, the North Africans rhodedaphane, and the Lucanians a southern Italic people icmane. Van Gogh found the flowers "joyous" and "life-affirming" because of their inexhaustible blooms and vigour. It is most commonly grown in its natural shrub form, but can be trained into a small tree with a single trunk. In his book Enquiries into Plants of circa BC, Theophrastus described among plants that affect the mind a shrub he called onotheras, which modern editors render oleander; "the root of onotheras [oleander] administered in wine", he alleges, "makes the temper gentler and more cheerful". A article in the medical journal Perspectives in Biology and Medicine posited that oleander was the substance used to induce hallucinations in the Pythia , the female priestess of Apollo , also known as the Oracle of Delphi in Ancient Greece. Over cultivars have been named, with several additional flower colors not found in wild plants having been selected, including yellow, peach and salmon. Plants may suffer damage or die back in such marginal climates during severe winter cold, but will rebound from the roots. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink to red, [Note 2] 2. Temporary cardiac pacing will be required in many cases usually for a few days until the toxin is excreted. Because oleander is extremely bitter, officials speculated that the toddlers had developed a condition caused from malnutrition, Pica , which causes people to eat otherwise inedible material. There is hardly a German family in the most arid parts of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, but has its oleander trees. They require frequent heavy watering and fertilizing as compared to being planted in the ground, but oleander is nonetheless an ideal flowering shrub for patios and other spaces with hot sunshine. The plant is tolerant of poor soils, intense heat, salt spray, and sustained drought — although it will flower and grow more vigorously with regular water. The toxicity of oleander renders it deer-resistant and its large size makes for a good windbreak — as such it is frequently planted as a hedge along property lines and in agricultural settings. During the winter they should be moved indoors, ideally into an unheated greenhouse or basement where they can be allowed to go dormant. The gastrointestinal effects can consist of nausea and vomiting, excess salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may contain blood, and especially in horses , colic. Many cultivars, like "Hawaii" or "Turner's Carnival", are multi-colored, with brilliant striped corollas. Gustav Klimt , who painted "Two Girls with an Oleander" between Many of the oleander relatives, such as the desert rose Adenium obesum found in East Africa, have similar leaves and flowers and are equally toxic. They are often, but not always, sweet-scented. In cold winter climates, oleander is a popular summer potted plant readily available at most nurseries. The effect on the central nervous system may show itself in symptoms such as drowsiness, tremors or shaking of the muscles, seizures , collapse, and even coma that can lead to death.
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