Any of two or three evergreen shrubs constituting the genus Nerium (family Apocynaceae), especially the oleander, N. oleander; (in form Nerium) the genus itself.
Valid publication of the genus name: Linnaeus Species Plantarum (1753) I. 209.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Bibliotheca Eliotae. From classical Latin nērium the oleander (Pliny; adopted as a genus name in Linnaeus Species Plantarum I. 209) from Hellenistic Greek νήριον.