by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Feb 2020      ()
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Nerium oleander   (Oleander)

Nerium oleander   (APOCYNACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands at or after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 12-Jan-2019)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (Oct-2010) Nerium oleander retrieved from on 2020-Feb-24

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Nerium oleander L.
Published in Sp. Pl. 209 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Oleander vulgaris Medik.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life ]

Plant Family :

Apocynaceae Juss. (The Dogbane Family)
4 species from the Apocynaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Oleander, Rose Bay

Maltese name(s) :

Difla, Olejandru, Siġret il-Ġarab

Status for Malta :

Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 and spreads to form established, non-invasive populations. It may become become invasive

Frequency :

Very Common     Common     Frequent     Scarce     Rare     Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: Macro-Phanerophyte (high trees usually over 10m )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection [link]:

Not Protected by Law (LN200/2011 or LN311/2006)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :


Colour of Flowers:

Violet, White and Pink

Remarks :

A riparian short tree that is native to the Mediterranean region including the south of Sicily. Nerium oleander possibly existed in Malta before man, but current known populations in the Maltese islands seem to be cultivated or naturalised in suitable habitats. Some trees which were planted or naturalised in valley sides have grown to admiriable large sizes.

Species Description and Distribution

Habitat in Europe:

River-banks and river-gravels. Frequently planted for ornament, and perhaps only naturalized in some areas

Preferred habitat in Malta:

Cultivated as ornamental tree with some naturalised populations occurring mostly in valley sides, damp maquis or persistent in abandoned farms or field margins. Native to central and east Mediterranean region (including Sicily) where it occurs primarily as a riparian tree in wetland areas. It might have been native in Malta too, but current records appear to be naturalised from cultivated origins.

Botanical Description:

Stems up to 4 m. Leaves 6-12(-15) x 1.2-2(-3) cm, linear-lanceolate, acute, coriaceous. Calyx densely glandular inside. Corolla (2-)3-4 cm in diameter, usually pink; tube 2 cm, the lobes 2 cm, obtuse, patent. Anther-appendages long, hairy, twisted. Follicles 8-16 x 0.5-1 cm, erect, reddish-brown.

Distributional range:

Mediterranean region, S. Portugal

Native region outside Europe:

Throughout the Mediterranean area and eastwards to central Asia.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):

Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):

Albania, the Balaeric Islands, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part), Introduced in  the Azores

Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(Euro+Med Checklist, 2017) - Country codes

? AE Ag Al Bl(I M) Co Cr Cy Ga(F) Gr Hs(S) IJ It Ju Li LS Lu Ma Sa Si(S) Tn Tu(A E) [cAz Az(F P S T) aSi(M)]

Images (11 images)
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-0.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-1.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-2.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-3.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-4.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-5.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-6.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-7.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-8.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-9.
   Nerium oleander   -   Image Code: NRMOL-10.

Links & Further info

Google Web

Google Images

Yahoo Web

Yahoo Images




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



The Plant List


Vienna Virt. Hb.





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