Oleander: Biological sources,Morphological features, Medicinal Uses and MCQs

Oleander: Biological sources,Morphological features, Medicinal Uses and MCQs


1. Biological sources:

• The botanical name of oleander of Nerium indicum Linn.
• The biological sources of oleander are dried leaves and seeds of it.
• It belongs to the apocynaceae family.
• It is also known as rose-bay.

2. Morphological features:

• Leaves of oleander are linear and narrow lanceolate.
• The size of 10-leaves are 20 cm long and 2.5 cm wide.
• Leaves are thick .
• The color of leaves are dark green.
• Leaves are shining above and dotted beneath.
• It is a poisonous evergreen shrub or small tree.
• It grows upto 2-6 m of height.
• Stems are erect outward.
• At maturity(first year) stems have a glaucous bloom.
• With time the bark of stems have grayish color.
• Leaves are present in pairs or whorls of three.
• Leaves are leathery.
• Flowers are present in clusters at the end of the each branch.
• They may be of white, pink or red in color.
• Flowers are 2.5-5 cm in diameter.
• Flowers are deeply 5-lobed fringed corolla round the central corolla tube.
• Fruits are present in a long narrow pair of follicles of 5-23 cm long.

3. Chemical constituents:

• Oleander is composed of cardiac glycosides oleandrine.
• It contain gitoxigenin , neridiginoside and adynerigenin as chemical constituents.
• In addition of it ,it also contain terpenoids, sterols, tannins.
• Other chemical constituent of it are essential oils.
• it is comprising of oleandrigenin and L- oleandose.
• Glycosides in the form of diginose and digitalose are present in it.

4. Uses:

• Leaves of oleander used to treat cutaneous eruptions.
• Roots are applied in the form of paste in the case of haemorrhoides.
• It is used to treat ulcerations.
• It is commonly used for decorative purpose.
• It is also have a role in the treatment of cancer.

5. Adulterants:

Common adulterants of oleander are tea extracts, essential oils and syrups.


1. What is the botanical name of oleander plant?
(a) Nerium indicum Linn.
(b) Liatris spicata
(c) Cobaea scandens
(d) Celosia cristata

2. What is the biological source of oleander?
(a) Leaves
(b) Seeds
(c) Roots
(d) Both a and b

3. Match the following with respect to the chemical constituents of plants.
I. Cascara                                                          A. cocaine
II. Coca                                                             B. anthranol
III. Vinca                                                          C.oleandrine
IV. Oleander                                                    D. vincristine

4. Choose incorrect statement with respect to the medicinal uses of plants.
i. Vinca is used to treat cancer.
ii. Oleander is used to treat jaundice.
iii. Cascara is used to treat jaundice.
iv. Ephedra is used to treat Parkinson disease.

(a) Both i and ii
(b) Only ii
(c) Both iii and iv
(d) Only iv

5. What is the chief chemical constituent of oleander?
(a) Oleandrine
(b) Vincristine
(c) Cocaine
(d) Ephedrine

6. Oleander is used to treat
(a) Cutaneous eruptions
(b) Cancer
(c) Haenorrhoides
(d) All of the above

7. Leaves of oleander shrub are
(a) Linear
(b) Thick
(c) Dark green in color
(d) All of the above

8. Oleander belongs to the which plant family?
(a) Apocynaceae
(b) Rubiaceae
(c) Loganiaceae
(d) Solaneaceae

9. Oleander plant grows upto the height
(a) 8-10 m
(b) 2-6 m
(c) 4-5 m
(d) 7-8 m

10. What are the chemical constituents of oleander plant?
(a) Terpenoids
(b) Essential oils
(c) Sterols
(d) All of the above


1. (a)
2. (d)
3. (b)
4. (b)
5. (a)
6. (d)
7. (d)
8. (a)
9. (b)
10. (d)


Evans W. C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. New York, Saunders Elsevier, 2009, p. 329-330.

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