The University of Mississippi
Landscape Services Department

Nandina 'Sacred Bamboo'


Scientific: Nandina Domestica
Family: Berberidaceae
Leaves: compound, alternate, pointed oval leaflets to 2in long, bright green in summer, coloring to crimson in fall
Flowers: white, loose terminal panicle, bloom in early summer
Fruit: red berries; long-lasting
Stems/Trunks: upright, cane-like stems; segmented, bamboo-like look
Range/Origin: East Asia
Hardiness: down to 0°

Despite the common name, it is not a bamboo but an erect evergreen shrub up to 2 m (7 ft) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with numerous, usually unbranched stems growing from ground level. The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas, 50–100 cm (20–39 in) long, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, with the individual leaflets 4–11 cm (2–4 in) long and 1.5–3 cm broad. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; old leaves turn red or purple again before falling. The flowers are white, borne in early summer in conical clusters held well above the foliage. The fruit is a bright red berry 5–10 mm diameter, ripening in late autumn and often persisting through the winter.

Flowering occurs from May to July. Flowers are in terminal, or sometimes axillary, panicles 8 to 15 inches long with several hundred perfect Flowers. Flowers are ¼ to ½ inches across and pinkish in bud, maturing to white with yellow anthers. Flowers are fragrant. Petals are variable in number ranging from 2 to 6. 

Fruiting occurs from September to October and persisting into April. At first fruit are green, but mature to bright red. The fruit is a spherical berry, 0.2 to 0.3 inches in diameter, with two hemispherical seeds. Seeds are viable, but can be slow to germinate. 


  
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