Nandina domestica
Common name: 
Heavenly Bamboo
Sacred Bamboo
nan-DE-na do-MES-ti-ka
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Evergreen shrub, 6+ ft, (1.8 m), compact forms 0.3-1.2 m high.  Leaves alternate, bi- or tri-pinnately compound, 30-60 cm long, leaflets 2-7.5 cm long, leathery, tip acuminate, base wedge-shaped, margin entire; red in spring, blue-green summer, and purple-red in fall.  Pink flowers in the bud, finally white with yellow anthers, each 5-13 mm, on long panicles.  Bright red berries, 8 mm diam., carried on large panicles, ripening in early fall and persisting through the winter.
  • Sun to shade.  Adaptable to extremes of soil and exposure, prefers moist, fertile soil. Thin out old stems to produce a dense plant.  Spreads by rhizomes.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6        Native to China, but much cultivated in Japan, from which it was introduced to Europe in 1804.
  • Many cultivars are available, these include a number of compact and dwarf forms that are dense and grow to a height of less than 3 ft (0.9m).  There is even a dwarf form which has exceptionally fine leaves, i.e., ‘Filamentosa’.
  • CautionNandina domestica is considered an invasive plant in the Southeast US. Because of this potential, selections that produce fruit are not recommended as landscape plants. However, some dwarf cultivars are non-flowering and do not poduce fruit and do not present a problem.
  • Some of the more common cultivars include:
    • 'Atropurpurea Nana'  ('Nana Purpurea')  -  upright, stiff, about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall and somewhat greater width, leaves inrolled and/or cupped (virus?), yellow-green with purplish tint in summer becoming red during cold weather.  Seems to be fruitless.
    • Blush Pink™ -  compact, mounding habit, non-flowering so less invasive potential, bright pink and red foliage fall through winter
    • 'Burgundy Wine' -  semi-dwarf, growth habit is rounded, being equally as tall as it is wide, produces creamy white berries
    • 'Compacta'  -  4-5 ft (1.2-1.5 m) tall, 3 ft (0.9 m) wide, lacy looking, green foliage, reddish in winter.  Possibly several forms under this name.
    • 'Filamemtosa' - dwarf, finely dissected leaves give it an almost fern-like appearnace.
    • 'Fire Power'  -  dwarf, red tinged summer foliage, bright red in winter, about 2 ft (0.6 m) tall.
    • 'Gulfstream'  -  compact shape, new leaves scarlet and mature to blue-green as flowers appear, intense red foliage in autumn
    • 'Umpqua Chief'  -  medium size, to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall in 3 years, slightly less width, typical green foliage, may color in winter
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 6, may die back due to winter kill but recovers.     Native range from India, China to Japan
  • Nandina: from nanten, the Japanese name.     domestica: cultivated
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: standard form, southeast Gilmore Hall.  dwarf form, southwest of Dixon Lodge, at Jefferson Ave. and 11th St.


Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, summer flowering

    plant habit, summer flowering

  • flower cluster

    flower cluster

  • leaf


  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • in a landscape, fruiting

    in a landscape, fruiting

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • fruit


  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaf, fall

    leaf, fall