There are two varieties of oleander. The Common or Pink oleander (Nerium oleander) is found throughout Australia. The Yellow Oleander (Casabella thevetia or Thevetia peruviana) is found mainly in tropical areas of Queensland. All parts of both plants are highly poisonous. Although potentially fatal, there have been no recorded deaths from eating Nerium oleander in Australia for many years.
There are only a few calls to the Victorian Poisons Information Centre each year about contact with oleander. In all cases of ingestion of any part of an oleander plant, the Victorian Poisons Information Centre recommends that the patient is immediately assessed at a hospital.
The Victorian Poisons Information Centre recommends that new oleander shrubs not be planted. Established plants may need to be removed based on concerns for safety to toddlers, for example in places where a lot of toddlers play, such as playgrounds and child care centres.
For further information about oleanders or other poisons, contact the Victorian Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.