Nerium comes from a plant commonly known as oleander that is highly cultivated in the Mediterranean, specifically in dry, rocky watercourses full of sun. It is a plant that has been cultivated since ancient times and is featured in many Roman wall paintings in Pompeii.
Nerium oleander is a very toxic ornamental plant and Alexander the Great is said to have lost men to eating meat skewered on it's poisonous twigs. It's sap has even been used for rat poison, as it is also highly poisonous to animals. Although dangerous, the plant also has been used medicinally to treat cardiac conditions and heart disease, as well as a diuretic, antibacterial and against snake bites.