Captain Cook Tree / Yellow Oleander

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Cascabela thevetia (syn Thevetia peruviana)


This is a perennial shrub that grows between 2.5 to 3 metres, but can also grow as a tree to 10 metres. It has a milky sap.

Leaves are bright glossy green, long, narrow, and pointed with the margins rolled. They are arranged on alternate areas of the stem.

Flowers are waxy, yellow or peach coloured, funnel-shaped, 5 centimetres wide and slightly fragrant. It flowers all year round.

Fruit is lantern shaped and grows up to 4 centimetres wide. It is green and turns black when ripe. The fruit contains up to 2 seeds.

Habitat along creek lines and floodplains and grows in a wide range of soils from sand to clays. It is found in wet coastal to dry inland regions.

Weed characteristics are the tree forms dense thickets and displaces native vegetation. When older, the trees can produce large amounts of seed. All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the seeds that can be fatal if ingested. It threatens sustainable pasture production and the environment.

Dispersal especially by older trees. They can produce large amounts of seed that is spread during flood events.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 3 declared plant under Queensland legislation.

How to act

Wear a mask, gloves and protective clothing when cut stumping as all parts of this plant are poisonous, particularly the white sap. Do not dispose by burning as smoke is toxic. Any regrowth can be treated using a follow up foliar spray or hand pulling seedlings, taking care not to damage any native vegetation.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.


Related information

Captain Cook Tree / Yellow Oleander © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Captain Cook Tree / Yellow Oleander © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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