Oleander, Nerium oleander (dogbane family, Apocynaceae) has for years been, for me, an example of how comfortably we live with poisonous plants. Oleander is very poisonous. Adults are hospitalized after eating several leaves, die from a serving of leaves. The plants contain a series of very toxic alkaloids, oleandrin, oleandrigenin, oleandroside, neroside, and more. All parts of the plant, including the flower petals, sap, honey, twigs, and roots, contain these alkaloids. They are not destroyed by drying or heat, and the smoke from an oleander fire can be dangerous. However, the story that a boy scout troop died of cooking hot dogs on oleander sticks is an urban legend (see Snopes).
|oleander, Nerium oleander|