Thevetia peruviana – Be-still Tree
Other Common Names: Yellow Oleander, Luckynut
Thevetia peruviana is a small ornamental tree that belongs to the Apocynaeae family. It is also commonly known as Yellow Oleander, Yellow Bells, Lucky Nut, and Be-still Tree. The trees are usually found in savannas, pastures, as well as banks of watercourses. They thrive in places with warm climates and are often used as an ornamental plant by landscapers and gardeners because they add a nice burst of color.
Be-still trees normally grow to about 1.5 to 2.3 meters high, but they can also reach a height of meters or 23 feet. The leaves are arranged in a spiral pattern, with each leaf growing to about 13 to 15 centimeters in length. They are lanceolate, shaped like a lance or spear and have a beautiful dark green color with a waxy finish.
Yellow or pale orange flowers are shaped like funnels with 5 spirally twisted petals. They are followed by green fruits, which turn brown or black when they ripen. The fruits are normally 1.5 inches or 4 centimeters in diameter and contain two seeds. The seeds are used for propagation, but the tree can also be propagated by cuttings.
Be-still Trees may look beautiful and appealing, but they are highly poisonous. They contain a white latex sap and oily seeds that may cause skin irritations. More than that, it also contains cardiac glycosides, such as Thevetin and Peruvoside, which are very toxic. No part of the plant should be ingested as they can cause serious illnesses that can lead to death.