The leaves of Nerium oleander L. (oleander) were tested as a possible biomonitor of heavy metal pollution studied in Antalya along the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey. Fifty-three sites (urban roadside, urban, urban park, suburban andrural) in and around Antalya city were investigated. The concentration of Pb, Cd, Zn and Cu were determined in unwashed and washed leaves and soils. Differences between the unwashed and washed samples varied according to the metal pollutant. Significant correlations were obtained between the heavy metal concentrations in surface soil and washed leaf samples. Nerium oleander was found to be a useful biomonitor of the determined heavy metals. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.