Featured Flower: Oleander



Oleander a dangerous beauty.  With its spear-shaped leaves and tropical-looking flowers, it lends an island feel to yards and public places throughout California.  These evergreen shrubs grow to be quite tall and are a smart drought-resistant (and deer-repellent) choice for landscaping.

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Due to its abundance of blossoms and foliage, oleander is useful in a pinch, to add color or mass to large bouquets.  The colors of oleander range from white to peach, pink, hot pink and red.  (Although I haven’t seen it myself, I’ve heard they even come in yellow and purple.)  I find the white flowers to be especially beautiful subjects when the light passes through them.

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However ubiquitous and familiar it may seem, it is toxic to both people and animals, so be careful how you dispose of your hedge clippings or where you plant, avoiding goats or other herbivorous livestock.  Likewise, keep it out of the reach, and mouths of babies.  Don’t pick it with your teeth, use clippers.  Don’t ask me how I know this.

by Nadja Masura