Cascabela Thevetia | All about Yellow Oleander (कनेर पीली)

Yellow Oleander (कनेर पीली)

Yellow Oleander (Cascabela Thevetia) | All about Yellow Oleander (कनेर पीली)

Cascabela Thevetia

Yellow Oleander (Cascabela thevetia or Thevetia peruviana) is a poisonous plant native throughout Mexico and in Central America, it is cultivated widely as an ornamental purposes. Cascabela Thevetia is a relative of Nerium oleander having a common name yellow oleander, and is also called lucky nut in the West Indies.

Family: Apocynaceae

Genus: Cascabela

Species: C. thevetia


Cascabela peruviana (Pers.) Raf.

Cerbera linearifolia Stokes

Cerbera peruviana Pers.

Cerbera thevetia L.

Thevetia linearis Raf.

Thevetia linearis A. DC.

Thevetia neriifolia Juss. 

Thevetia peruviana (Pers.)

Thevetia thevetia (L.)

Cascabela Thevetia, कनेर पीली


Cascabela thevetia is a tropical shrub or small tree that is evergreen. It has willow-like leaves that are linear-lanceolate and glossy green in colour. They have a waxy layer to prevent water loss (typical of oleanders). It has a green stem that turns silver/gray as it ages. From the summer to the fall, flowers flourish. The tall funnel-shaped flowers are in few-flowered terminal clusters and are occasionally fragrant yellow (less commonly apricot, sometimes white). Its fruit is a rich red-black colour and contains a huge seed that looks like a 'Chinese lucky nut.'

In India, Cascabela thevetia is called as Kaneir or Kaner (कनेर) in Hindi. Because it is drought resistant and heat tolerant, it can be found in semi-arid climatic states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Assam.

Religious significance

In India, the vivid yellow blossoms of this plant are used for religious purposes. Because the tree is native to Mexico, there are no clear ties to Hindu culture.

Cascabela Thevetia | Yellow Oleander | कनेर पीली

Toxicity of Yellow Oleander

Because cardiac glycosides are present in all parts of the C. thevetia plant, it is toxic to most vertebrates. There have been several examples of human poisoning, both intentional and unintentional.

Thevetin A and B are the most toxic cardenolides; others include peruvoside, neriifolin, thevetoxin, and ruvoside. These cardenolides are remarkably comparable to digoxin from Digitalis purpurea and are not damaged by drying or boiling. They have gastrointestinal and cardiotoxic effects on the body. Atropine and digoxin immune fabs (antibodies) are used as antidotes, and oral administration of activated charcoal may also be used. T. peruviana poisoning can be treated with ovine polyclonal anti-digitoxin Fab fragment antibody (DigiTAb; Therapeutic Antibodies Inc.), but the cost is prohibitive in many countries.

Lucky nut
Yellow Oleander Seed (Lucky Nut)

However, a few bird species have been observed feeding on them without negative effects. Sunbirds, Asian koel, red-whiskered bulbul, white-browed bulbul, red-vented bulbul, brahminy myna, common myna, and common grey hornbill are among these birds.

Sucking the seeds of Thevetia peruviana (Kaneru (Sinhala), Manjal arali (Tamil)) is one of the main techniques for suicide in areas where they are abundant in South India and Sri Lanka.

In rats, extracts from C. thevetia have been shown to have antispermatogenic properties.


Cascabela thevetia is grown as an ornamental plant in temperate climates, where it is used as a large flowering shrub or a small ornamental tree standard. It is a container plant that is brought inside a greenhouse or used as a house plant in frost-prone areas during the winter season. It can grow in a variety of soils and is drought resistant.

Biological pest management

Toxins from the plant have been examined in the lab for use in biological pest management. The seed oil of T. peruviana was used to create an antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-termite 'paint.'

Yellow Oleander Care

Despite its toxicity, many gardeners are drawn to yellow oleander because of its lush, tropical appearance and long-lasting blossoms. If you wish to grow this plant, you should know that it is not difficult or time consuming to care for. Just keep an eye on it if you have small children or pets. Because yellow oleander trees prefer heat, they should be planted in partial to full sun. The trees thrive in well-draining soil with plenty of organic matter, so prepare the soil with compost before planting. These plants will need to be watered on a regular basis. Pruning and litter removal (with gloves on) will also take some time. These are, on the whole, low-maintenance plants.

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