Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Cascabela thevetia
(yellow oleander)



Cascabela thevetia (yellow oleander)


  • Last modified
  • 05 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Cascabela thevetia
  • Preferred Common Name
  • yellow oleander
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Cascabela thevetia (L.) H. Lippold

Preferred Common Name

  • yellow oleander

Other Scientific Names

  • Thevetia neriifolia Juss. ex Steud.
  • Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) K. Schum.

International Common Names

  • English: bestill; lucky nut
  • Spanish: cabalonga; chilca; chilindron
  • French: arbre à lait; laurier jaune; noyer de serpent

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: cerbera; chapeu-de-Napoleao; jorro-jorro; noz-de-cobra
  • Germany: Baum-Oleander, Gelber; Schellenbaum, Gelber
  • Netherlands: gele oleander

EPPO code

  • THVPE (Thevetia peruviana)

Summary of Invasiveness

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The following summary is from Witt and Luke (2017):


Small evergreen shrub or small tree [2–6 (–10) m high], with glossy green, hairless younger stems turning pale brown in older stems; contains milky sap in all parts.


Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean.

Reason for Introduction

Barrier/hedges and ornament.


Disturbed land, urban open spaces, drainage ditches, savannah, water courses, lowlands, floodplains and gullies.


Yellow oleander forms dense thickets, especially in low-lying areas and along watercourses, displacing native plant and animal species. The plant is extremely toxic.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Gentianales
  •                         Family: Apocynaceae
  •                             Genus: Cascabela
  •                                 Species: Cascabela thevetia

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes


BotswanaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized
BurundiPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized
EthiopiaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized
KenyaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
MalawiPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
RwandaPresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized
TanzaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
UgandaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
ZambiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Witt and Luke, 2017
ZimbabwePresentIntroducedWitt and Luke, 2017Naturalized

North America

MexicoPresent Natural

Central America and Caribbean

CaribbeanPresent Natural

Uses List

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  • Agroforestry


  • Ornamental


  • Poisonous to mammals

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Distribution Maps

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