Fast-growing plants with narrow, glossy, deep green leaves and clusters of showy, funnel-shaped flowers at branch ends. Thrive in heat; sensitive to frost.
T. peruviana. YELLOW OLEANDER, LUCKY NUT. Zones LS, CS, TS; USDA 8-11. From the tropical Americas. In frostless areas, it can be trained as a tree to 2030 ft. tall and wide. Where frosts are light or rare, it's an 8-ft. (or larger) shrub; makes a good hedge, screen, or background plant. Leaves 36 in. long, with edges rolled under. Fragrant, 2- to 3-in., yellow to apricot flowers bloom from early summer into fall (all year where winters are warm). Small (1-in.), squat, four-angled fruit is red at first, then ages to black. Provide good drainage, wind protection. In colder part of range, mound sand 612 in. deep around base of stem in late autumn. Dies back in freezes but recovers quickly; new growth will bloom same year.
T. thevetioides. GIANT THEVETIA. Zone TS; USDA 10-11. From Mexico. Open growth to 12 ft. or more tall and wide. Leaves are darker green than those of T. peruviana; they resemble oleander (Nerium) leaves but are corrugated and have heavily veined undersides. Large clusters of brilliant yellow, 4-in. flowers bloom from late spring through fall; these are followed by 212-in.-wide fruit that ripens from green to black. Makes an attractive patio tree, but fruit can be a litter problem.