Florida flowers: Opulent and ominous oleander, after the rain

As you wise and wonderful readers probably already know oleander is highly toxic. I first learned of this from an unlikely source. The book White Oleander by Janet Finch wherein a woman poisons her husband with a toxic cocktail that includes oleander.

Since that time, and since I frequently have an interest in true crime, I’ve heard of cases of some completely horrific people using oleander to posion a person to death. Apparently it has an exceedingly bitter taste so this is considered rare, although one notorious exception is that of Angelina Rodriguez, accused of poisoning her husband not only with Oleander but an added dose of antifreeze! Yikes! She is currently on death row in California.

I’ve posted about Oleander before: Florida flowers: The ornate oleander. Even though both are considered pink oleander, the color variation is quite remarkable. Notice, however, that the leaves look nearly identical.

Pink oleander – Orlando, FL – JoAnn Ryan

Anyway, it’s been a fairly typical summer here in Florida. Plenty of sweltering heat, humidity and rainstorms although the rain does seem to be a bit more brutal this year. Normally the rain clouds roll in, the sky turns dark and one has a few minutes leeway to run for cover.

Not this year. It’s like one minute it’s intensely sunny and then you look up to see a rain cloud. Then, before you even have time to think about heading for cover, Mother Nature kicks things up full blast. As you run for the nearest shelter you’re already soaked head to toe.

I don’t know, maybe this is what it’s like to live in Seattle or England but I’m not really liking this. I’m always ever so grateful for the rain though; it’s what makes Florida so beautiful and green!

I only wish I had one of those expensive high-tech cameras so I could do the rain on these flower petals true justice. I merely have my iPhone. I can’t complain too much though, my iPhone takes pretty awesome photos considering it’s a camera phone.

Hope everyone has a great day! Enjoy these beautiful oleander flowers!

Pink oleander – Orlando, FL – JoAnn Ryan
Pink oleander – Orlando, FL – JoAnn Ryan
Pink oleander – Orlando, FL – JoAnn Ryan

30 comments

  1. Your Florida oleander is beautiful, indeed, JoAnn. It’s remarkable how many pretty flowers are poisonous, we have a number of them in Colorado, too (poison hemlock, monkshood, death camas, etc.). It’s one of those uncomfortable realities of nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Exquisitely beautiful flower, JoAnn, made all the more appealing by your first paragraph matching almost exactly what I first thought when seeing the article. As soon as I saw the picture I asked myself, “Wait, those are poisonous, aren’t they?” Glad mine isn’t the only mind that went there!

    Had no idea, though, people actually used oleanders to do in one another. My first thought, actually, was about deer. Considering how they love to munch on rhododendrons and azaleas up here, I can’t imagine they’d leave alone oleanders. Perhaps it’s a lesson they learned the hard way.

    Great photos, by the way. Hope you didn’t get doused taking them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you. No, did not get doused. I was in my friend’s car on a snack run. Luckily the rain was pretty much over by then, just a couple drops here and there. I hurried and snapped a few photos. I wasn’t sure if they would come out too well since it was pretty overcast still. I was surprised actually.

      From what I read online, deer are actually pretty smart when it comes to poisonous plants and will avoid them. Perhaps not so much with cats and dogs, especially those who have been highly domesticated (spoiled rotten by us humans) and thus their instincts have been dulled to such dangers.

      Humans on the other hand, some are just completely evil, unfortunately 😕

      Liked by 2 people

  3. So beautiful. When I lived in South Africa these bushes were very popular but now they’re classed as noxious weeds and banned from people’s gardens. Interesting about the poor guy who got poisoned. His wife wasn’t taking any chances what with the oleander and antifreeze. She obviously didn’t like him much. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am trying to get mine to flower, but it is simply not warm and sunny enough. I have two plants that showed one single flower each (yay!). There are buds, but they tend to just fall off … I think I might have to give up on them. They are so beautiful!!!

    Liked by 3 people

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