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Heavenly Bamboo Nandina domestica


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Heavenly Bamboo
© James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service/

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Alternate name: Nandina; Sacred Bamboo

Family: Berberidaceae, Barberry view all from this family

Description Introduced. An evergreen shrub grown for its huge flower clusters and bright red fruits.
Height: to 8' (2.4 m).
Leaves: to 3' (0.9 m) long; bipinnately compound; leaflets 1/2-4" (1.2-10 cm) long; 9-81 leaflets per leaf; lanceolate.
Flowers: 12" (30 cm) long clusters of small flowers; white petals surround yellow anthers.
Fruit: 1/2" (1.2 cm) red berries, borne in dense clusters.

Habitat Spreads from gardens and other plantings into woodlands and forest edges.

Range Native of China and Japan; escaped from cultivation and naturalized in the Southeast, from Virginia to Florida and Texas.

Discussion Heavenly Bamboo, a member of the barberry family, is a desirable landscape plant because of its handsome aspect and its wildlife value. In Florida and other southern states, however, this exotic plant has become an invasive pest, moving into woodland habitats and squeezing out native vegetation.