March 23
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Plant Species of the genus Acokanthera

Information about this genus
Name: Acokanthera
Cultivation: CULTIVATION: These are tough plants adapted to exposed positions (including seashores) and fairly drought tolerant. In the garden they tolerate neglect as long as they are not too shaded by other trees or shrubs. Heavy pruning results in vigorous resprouting. Propagate from seed, which germinates readily in summer, or soft tip cuttings.
Description: There are 7 species in this genus of evergreen shrubs and small trees, occurring in open forest and scrub from southeastern Africa to southern Arabia. It belongs to the oleander family and has similar poisonous properties?in fact an extract of the wood and bark was traditionally used as a highly effective arrow poison and for purposes of murder. Like oleander, however, Acokanthera has been widely cultivated for ornament, and cases of accidental poisoning have proved very rare. Leaves are smooth and leathery, borne in opposite pairs or whorls of three on the twigs; sweet-scented tubular white flowers appear in dense clusters at the leaf axils, followed by hard-stoned fruit the shape and size of olives. Fruit, leaves and bark all bleed a thick white sap when cut.

Specie Vernacular Zone
Acokanthera oblongifolia 9-11
Acokanthera oppositifolia 9-11

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