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Lucky Nut Cascabela thevetia

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Thevetia peruviana
Phonetic Spelling
kas-kuh-BEL-uh thev-VEESH-ee-uh
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Yellow oleander is an upright, evergreen, tropical shrub or small tree in the Apocynaceae family growing to a mature height of 8 feet and a spread of 4 feet. The plant is a native of the West Indies, Mexico and parts of Central and South America where, in native environments, will reach heights of 20 to 30 feet.  The genus name comes from the Spanish word cascabela meaning small bell in reference to the shape of the flower and the species name honors André Thevet (1502-1592) a French monk who traveled in Brazil and Guiana.

Large showy yellow flowers and alternate bright green leaves (unlike its cousin, oleander, which has pink or white flowers and whorled leaves).

Yellow oleander does best in rich, sandy soils, but will do well in average, medium moisture soils in full sun to part shade. If grown in a container, use fertile soils with good drainage. Water regularly, but let the soil dry out between watering. To maintain the attractiveness of the plant, promptly deadhead spent blooms to prevent seed pods. It can be propagated from cuttings taken in late summer and the plant will tolerate light pruning to shape it after flowering (late summer to fall).

In warm environments (zone 8 and higher) plant as a small flowering tree, a hedge for privacy or prune low for a foundation planting.  Its low water use makes it an excellent addition to a drought tolerant garden, patio planting, or near a pool.  In cooler climates of the United States, it is often grown as a container plant brought indoors in winter or as a year-round houseplant. If Yellow Oleander will overwinter indoors, site it in a cool location (about 40 degrees F.), such as a basement, with moderate light and very little water. Alternatively, you can grow it as a houseplant in a sunny but cool room with reduced water.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Minor insect issues include mealybugs, scale, and aphids.  Caterpillars are known to chew on the leaves.  If leaf spot appears on the leaves, remove them from the plant.   The Apocynaceae family is commonly known as Dogbane and, like most members of that family, Yellow Oleander is toxic. The stems exude a milky sap when cut and all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested. Plant saps can cause allergic skin reactions in some people and smoke from burning plant material can be toxic.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#small tree#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#broadleaf evergreen#flowering tree#hedges#tropical evergreen#foundation planting#poolside planting#screening#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical tree#tropical feel#tropical#ornamental tree#shrub borders#frost intolerant#contact dermatitis#container plant#poisonous if ingested#tender#privacy screen
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#small tree#poisonous#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#shrub#yellow flowers#broadleaf evergreen#flowering tree#hedges#tropical evergreen#foundation planting#poolside planting#screening#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical tree#tropical feel#tropical#ornamental tree#shrub borders#frost intolerant#contact dermatitis#container plant#poisonous if ingested#tender#privacy screen
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cascabela
    Species:
    thevetia
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used as an animal food, a poison and a medicine, and for fuel and food.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mexico, Central and South America
    Distribution:
    Texas, Hawaii, and Florida in the United States, India, and parts of China.
    Wildlife Value:
    Although toxic to humans and some animals, it is a food source for some birds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Screening
    Edibility:
    All parts of the plant are toxic.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers give way to green fruits that turn black when mature. These seed pods, each contain 1 or 2 nut-like seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Large 3 inch long funnel-shaped fragrant yellow or apricot flowers in terminal clusters (cymes). Flowers bloom from summer to fall.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Waxy
    Leaf Type:
    Fronds
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Willow-like, linear-lanceolate, glossy green leaves 6 to 7 inches long with distinctive midribs. Leaves are waxy to reduce water loss.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stems are green, but turn silver-gray with age.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    All parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested and the sap can cause allergic skin reactions in some people. Smoke from burning plant material can be toxic.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Unidentified, possibly a glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice