Alice Springs Flora •

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Acacia ligulata Apple Bush Bougainvillea Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander

The Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia) is a large spreading shrub (often pruned in cultivation) that grows between 2 to 4 metres in height. Is seen as verge planting in selected streets around Alice Springs, NT.

It has sweetly perfumed funnel-shaped flowers, that are bright yellow or peach coloured, measuring 5.5–7cm long and 2.5–4cm wide, often single, double or small group clusters at the end of the branches.

Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT
Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT

The leaves are linear-lanceolate, between 5.5–15 cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide, a glossy green, alternating on the stem.

Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT
Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT

The fruit are angular and green when immature, ripening to black. The fruit is broader than long and appear triangular in outline, with a raised ridge around the middle, about 3–4.5 cm in diameter. The soft fleshy fruit encloses a “stone”.

Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT
Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Alice Springs NT

All parts of the plant are toxic if eaten, particularly the fruit and seeds.

This species is an environmental weed in south-eastern Queensland, on the list of the top 200 invasive naturalised plants, and as a priority weed in far northern Queensland. It is also a potential sleeper weed in other parts of Australia.

Common name
Yellow oleander, Cook Tree, Be-still Tree, Lucky Nut, Dicky Plant. Previously known as Thevetia peruviana.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Class: Equisetopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Superorder: Asteranae
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Genus: Cascabela
  • Species: Cascabela thevetia

Footnote & References

  1. Many thanks for confirmation of ID to Iain Harrison and input by members of Australian Indigenous Plant Identification, Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1469859343324569/
  2. Poisonous plants>Shrub-tree>Yellow oleander (Cascabela thevetia), Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, Queensland Government, https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/poisonous-plant-yellow-oleander-cascabela-thevetia/
  3. Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold, Yellow Oleander, Atlas of Living Australia,, https://bie.ala.org.au/species/https://id.biodiversity.org.au/node/apni/2910231
  4. Cascabela thevetia (L.) Lippold, Weeds of Australia, https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Html/cascabela_thevetia.htm

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Acacia ligulata Apple Bush Bougainvillea Burdekin Plum Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqa) Cattle Bush Desert Cotton (Aerva javanica) Desert Oak Eremophila Wildberry Feijoa sellowiana Flannel Cudweed Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Golden Everlasting Kurrajong Lemon-flowered Gum MacDonnell’s Desert Fuchsia Native Bluebell Native Tomato Needlewood Olive Tree Perennial Yellow Top Rat’s Tail River Red Gum Inland River Red Gum Rosy Dock Round-leaved Mallee Scurvy Grass Silky Eremophila Stemodia viscosa Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Sturt’s Desert Rose Tangled Leschenaultia Tar Vine Weeping Bottlebrush White Cedar Yellow Billybutton Yellow-keeled Swainsona Yellow Oleander

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