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Apocynaceae, Thevetia ovata (?), Codo de fraile – Jalisco, Mexico

September 24, 2014

I’m pretty sure these are photos of Thevetia ovata, although not positive… please correct me via comment forum if you have doubts. This does appear to have a more wrinkled leaf then photos that come up on an image search. This could be a different species although T. ovata is what I’ve seen listed as being present in this area. My friend / colleague Stan (Plant Creations) suggests its likely a serious mite or thrip or combination infestation, which is looking like the most probable explanation.

Thevetia is an interesting group of plants in the Apocynace family, close relatives of Genera such as Tabernanthe, Carissa, Plumeria and Tabernamontana, among many others. Click links for more info.

I took these photos Thevetia ovata last week in the dry tropical forests along the coast of Jalisco, Mexico. The plant was growing just in from a beach inlet as a large shrub / small tree (up to 8m). Thevetia peruviana is a more common related species, often seen used as an ornamenal plant in the tropics and subtropics. Despite its pervasiveness the plants ethnobotanical (medicinal, magico-religious, nefarious) uses are often overlooked.

Thevetia ovata leaf Thevetia ovata fruit Thevetia ovata flower Thevetia ovata flower

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 24, 2014 10:08:01 am

    Hi. This looks like my yellow oleander but with a different leaf. The nut is sometimes called ‘lucky nut’.

    • September 24, 2014 10:08:24 pm

      Thanks for reading… Yes, yellow Oleander is another name for Thevetia peruviana, see link for more info.

  2. September 24, 2014 10:08:37 pm

    I would love to hear about some of the more nefarious uses of this plant. Another post perhaps? You have me intrigued

    • September 24, 2014 10:08:22 pm

      Thanks for reading, click the Thevetia peruviana link and I’ve posted a bit about it…

  3. Gaylen permalink
    September 24, 2014 10:08:15 pm

    So nice to see you back in Mexico! Stay safe, hope oding didn’t Impact you……now go out there and fascinate us!

    • September 24, 2014 10:08:23 pm

      We got the peripheral storms of two hurricanes last week, just lots of rain, which was great. Everything is extremely green this time of year, a huge contrast to dry season.

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