Nerium oleander plant--`Turner's Tickled Pink`

A Nerium Oleander plant which has a petite and upright habit of fairly rapid growth, being particularly characterized by its ever blooming character and the unique color of its inflorescence, the flowers being a light peach-pink color with areas of pink.

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The present invention relates to a new and distinct variety, of petite size, of Nerium Oleander which was originated by me as a seedling by selection and crossing in a nursery in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Tex. I crossed a Nerium Oleander `Algiers` with a Nerium Oleander `Turners's Carnival`. The `Algiers` is an intermediate size plant which produces a single flower of florescent red color. "Turner's Carnival" is the subject of U.S. Plant Pat. No. 6,339 issued Oct. 18, 1988 to Ted L. Turner, Sr., and this plant is a petite size plant with soft pink flowers. However in making my crosses, I observed that pollination could have been accomplished by bees from unknown plants. Thus unknown parentage could have been introduced by the bees even though I did not purposely introduce any parentage other than the "Turner's Carnival" and the "Algiers".

From the group of seedlings I observed a plant, being the plant claimed herein, having a new and distinct color of flowers, and from cuttings of such plant I was able to asexually reproduce plants having the same characteristics and flower color as the original seedling in a nursery in Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Tex. All of the descendant plants showed the same characteristics as the original seedling, and as a result of extensive observations and tests which are not described in full herein for sake of brevity, it is my opinion and I am convinced that my new plant is a new variety of Nerium Oleander which is distinguished from all other varieties of which I am aware as evidenced by the following unique combination of principal characteristics which are outstanding therein:

(1) An upright habit of fairly rapid growth and of petite size making it especially suitable for use as a pot plant, for small hedges, or to add garden color;

(2) An ability to be asexually reproduced;

(3) An everblooming ability to flower substantially throughout the year;

(4) The ability to bloom in partial shade, such as morning sun only;

(5) The ability to be a good greenhouse bloomer;

(6) The ability to grow and flower in relatively small pots as small as about ten to fifteen centimeters in diameter; and

(7) The ability to produce a flower having a light peach-pink color with areas of pink.

Asexual reproduction of my new variety as by cuttings shown that the foregoing characteristics and distinctions come true to form and are established and transmitted through succeeding propagations.

The accompanying FIGURE is a photograph of a typical flower on the plant of my new variety more clearly illustrating the colors present on each flower. The true color of the foliage and flowers is described in the following description and is depicted in the FIGURE which depicts the color as nearly as true as is reasonably possible in a color illustration of this type.

The following is a detailed description of my new variety of Nerium Oleander, which color numbers in accordance with the Pantone Matching System of colors for printing inks, Pantone Color Formula Guide 747 X R, 1987-1988, published by Pantone, Inc. Terms used to describe colors are those of ordinary significance.

The Plant

Growth habit: Upright, petite size; the height of an unpruned mature plant will probably be from about 2 to 3 meters, but has not yet been determined; fast growing. The plant grows full from just about ground level upward, with the width of the plant about 35% to 50% of the height. The plant is slightly larger than "Turner's Carnival" referenced to above, and about the same size as the Nerium Oleander `Petite Pink`.

Hardiness: Adapted to seaside planting as it tolerates soil with relatively high salt content; tolerates droughts; will not withstand prolonged and severe freezing weather; most suitable for the Southern United States from California to Florida, in the areas known as Zones 9 and 10; withstands heat and light and grows either in full sun or in partial shade (up to 50% shade) such as morning sun only; can be grown in small pots as small as about 8 centimeters in diameter.

Branches: The plant is loosely branched from just above ground level with main branches and branchlets ascending. The plant does not develop a central leader or trunk. New growth of branches is a light to medium green, Color No. 396U, changing to light brown, Color No. 470U, in color as branches mature.

Blooming period: In a mild winter, an outside plant will bloom off and on substantially the entire year. In a cold winter, an outside plant will bloom off and on about 80% of the year. The plant will bloom substantially all the time in a greenhouse.

The Foliage

Type: Broadleaf evergreen; numerous; petioled; grow in a whorl with three leaves in each whorl.

Shape: Linear-lanceolate, with entire margins. Apex is more or less acuminate and slightly non-symmetrical, and base is acute.

Petioles: Length, from about 3 to 5 mm; color pale green.

Leaf size: Length of mature leaf from about 130 to 200 mm; width of mature leaf about 20 to 30 mm. Size of leaf varies according to sunshine conditions at the time the leaf is produced, with larger leaves being produced under cloudy conditions than under sunny conditions.

Venation: Midrib or under surface prominent and readily apparent and is pale green, Color No. 585U; on upper surface midrib is clearly visible and slightly recessed, and is pale green, Color No. 585U; lateral veins are not readily apparent on upper surface but under surface contains numerous, delicate, almost parallel lateral veins which are readily apparent, the lateral veins being substantially perpendicular to the midrib.

Leaf color: Mature leaves: upper surface -- dark green, Color No. 574C; under surface much lighter in color than upper surface, being a pale green, Color No. 391U.

New leaves: Slightly lighter in color, upper surface -- dark green, Color No. 575C.

Leaf texture: Tough, leathery; smooth; upper surface -- semi-glossy; lower surface--dull.

The Inflorescence

Position and abundance: Flowers cluster at twig or branch ends in terminal cymes, with cymes appearing at various positions from the lower part to the upper part of the plant.

Form: Single; regular; pediceled; petals united in a sympetalous corolla; salverform; tube spreads into five limbs or lobes; each flower is about 35 to 45 mm across; corona conspicuous at junction of tube and spreading limb, corona about 10 to 15 mm in diameter and much shorter than spreading limbs, the corona having five crownlike appendages, each appendage corresponding to a limb, most appendages being 3 toothed;

Buds: Limbs convolute in the bud, obliquely apiculate, the folds twisting counterclockwise when viewing down onto the tip of the bud, such the limbs of the flower twist slightly clockwise when viewing down into the flower.

Calyx: Of 5 persistent sepals, imbricate in the bud, lanceolate, acuminate, about 4 to 6 mm long.

Stamen: 5 stamens; filaments partly adnate to corolla tube; anthers with 2 basal tails, apex long-attenuate, hairy.

Color of flower: Limbs or petals of the corolla in new flowers are light peach-pink color, Color No. 169U, except that each limb (as viewed from the topside of the flower) has one area which is pink, Color No. 211C, with the margin adjacent the pink area being a pinkish red, Color No. 212C. As is the case with most oleanders, blooms produced under a full sun may be lighter in shade than those produced on cloudy days. As the flowers age, the color of the limbs fade somewhat becoming more pale than in the new growth. The corona is golden yellow, Color No. 120U, with 5 groups of 3 dark pinkish red streaks, Color No. 192U, each group of pinkish red streaks being more or less centered with and corresponding to limb and to a said corona appendate, the streaks being radial in nature (as opposed to circular) such that the streaks extend from the edge of each appendage down into the corona tube, or vice versa. The outside of the corolla tube of each flower is pale pink, Color No. 190U, with tinges of pale yellow, Color No. 113U, there being in particular 5 small pale yellow streaks extending along the tube alternate with the spreading limbs. The calyx and sepals are light green, Color No. 381U, with tinges of pinkish red, Color No. 207C.

Color of buds: Dark pinkish red, Color No. 207C.

To further describe my new variety of Nerium Oleander, it is very similar in size and growth habit to the other well-known petite size Nerium Oleander which grow in an upright manner, except for the color of the flowers, and except that my new variety appears to tolerate shade better than the other petite Nerium Oleanders of which I am aware. My new variety also blooms much earlier, and longer, than other dwarf and petite Nerium Oleanders of which I am aware and I am not aware of any Nerium Oleander of petite size having a flower which is the same as that produced by my plant.


The proposed variety name of my new plant is Nerium Oleander `Turner's Tickled Pink`.


1. A new and distinct variety of petite size Nerium Oleander substantially as shown and described, having an upright habit of fairly rapid growth making it especially suitable as a screening plant, having an ability to be asexually reproduced, having the ability to flower off and on throughout the entire year, having the ability to grow in full sun or in partial shade, being an excellent greenhouse plant, and being particularly characterized by its petite size combined with the unique color of its inflorescence, the flowers being a light peach-pink color with areas of pink, the margins adjacent the pink areas being pinkish red.

Patent History
Patent number: PP7619
Type: Grant
Filed: May 7, 1990
Date of Patent: Aug 13, 1991
Inventor: Ted L. Turner, Sr. (Corpus Christi, TX)
Primary Examiner: Howard J. Locker
Attorney: Stewart N. Rice
Application Number: 7/520,357
Current U.S. Class: Plt/54
International Classification: A01H 500;