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oleander

o·le·an·der / ˈōlēˌandər/ • n. a poisonous evergreen Old World shrub (Nerium oleander) of the dogbane family that is widely grown in warm countries for its clusters of white, pink, or red flowers.

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oleander

oleander Evergreen shrubs of the genus Nerium, native to the Mediterranean region. They have milky poisonous sap, clusters of white, pink or purple flowers, and smooth leaves. The best-known is the rosebay (N. oleander). Family Apocynaceae.

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oleander

oleander XVI. — medL. oleander, oliandrum; of obscure orig.

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oleander

oleander: see dogbane.

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oleander

oleander See NERIUM.

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oleander

oleanderadder, bladder, khaddar, ladder, madder •Esmeralda, Valda •scaffolder • lambda •Amanda, Aranda, Baganda, Banda, brander, candour (US candor), coriander, dander, expander, gander, germander, goosander, jacaranda, Leander, Luanda, Lysander, meander, memoranda, Menander, Miranda, oleander, panda, pander, philander, propaganda, Rwanda, sander, Skanda, stander, Uganda, understander, Vanda, veranda, withstander, zander •backhander • Laplander • stepladder •inlander • outlander • Netherlander •overlander • gerrymander •pomander •calamander, salamander •bystander •ardour (US ardor), armada, Bader, cadre, carder, cicada, Dalriada, enchilada, Garda, gelada, Granada, Haggadah, Hamada, intifada, lambada, larder, Masada, Nevada, panada, piña colada, pousada, promenader, retarder, Scheherazade, Theravada, Torquemada, tostada •Alexander, commander, demander, Lahnda, slander •Pravda • autostrada

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Oleander

OLEANDER

OLEANDER (Heb. הַרְדּוּף mishnaic (harduf) or הִרְדּוּפְנִי (hirdufeni)), the evergreen shrub with rose-colored flowers that grows wild in Israel on the banks of rivers. Cultivated varieties having flowers of various colors are also grown. Its leaves are arranged at the nodes of the stalk in groups of three. In this respect it resembles the three-leaved *myrtle. The Talmud (Suk. 32b) raises the possibility that by eẓ avot ("plaited tree"), one of the four species taken on the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev. 23:40), the oleander may be intended, but the suggestion is rejected on the grounds that the Bible would not have required a plant containing a dangerous poison to be taken (see Rashi, Suk. 32b). A fowl that has eaten oleander "is forbidden because of danger to life" (Ḥul. 3:5). It is, in fact, very poisonous and its ground leaves are sometimes used as mouse poison. One tanna held that it was because of its bitterness that this tree was used by Moses to sweeten the bitter waters (Ex. 15:25) "for God heals with that with which he wounds" (Ex. R. 50:3). The Talmud (Pes. 39a) mentions a bitter plant called hardufenin which is not poisonous and was eaten as a salad. The reference is apparently to the Scorzonera, to which the name hardufenin is given in modern Hebrew.

bibliography:

Loew, Flora, 1 (1924), 206–12; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index; J. Feliks, Ẓimḥiyyat ha-Mishnah, in: Marot ha-Mishnah, Seder Zera'im (1967), 38. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 52.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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