Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food


July 29, 2004

Oleander means ‘poisonous for man(kind)’ and the flowers, leaves and sap of this plant are indeed poisonous for humans to ingest. Upon my arrival here (2 weeks ago today!) Kristi asked me to take care of her failing oleanders. I got straight to work, watering, inspecting, killing large herds of orange aphids, concocting homemade pesticides to kill the aphids (just soap), and transplanting the oleanders into planters that effectively keep in the moisture.

These days the oleanders are putting on quite a show and this morning when I walked out to give them a look-see I noticed a very funny 6-legged white stamen! A white spider had camouflaged herself in the flower and was waiting for something delicious to come along and become breakfast! I am really pleased with this development because this means that nature has taken over the foul task of dealing with the aphids. If you’re like me and don’t like eating aphids, it’s really nice if another species lends a hand. One woman’s meat is another one’s poison.

debra at 12:52 | | post to


  1. Ola Debra,
    Oleanders do not need a lot of water—once established. I have many that do without any water all the dry California summer long. But they do like SUN, SUN, SUN. And every part of them is poisonous—even the smoke,

    Yes, the French and Italian peaches and nectarines are deliceous.

    Dad S

    Comment by dad s. — August 9, 2004 @ 2:39

  2. I have a huge oleander that I’d like to move. When is the best time? I live in eastern NC.

    Comment by Carole Hunter — September 13, 2008 @ 18:26

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