Nandina domestica

Nandina domestica
Nandina domestica 
heavenly bamboo
SIZE/TYPE medium-sized shrub
USUAL HEIGHT 0.5-1.5m
USUAL WIDTH 0.5-1.3m
LEAVES evergreen broadleaf
COLOUR OF LEAVES green
FLOWERS less showy but noticeable
COLOUR OF FLOWERS white
BLOOMING TIME July - August
LOCATION full to partial sun
USDA zone (lowest) 6   (down to -23°C)
WINTER PROTECTION  
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Evergreen broadleaf
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Nandina is an evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub from India, China and Japan. Common name heavenly bamboo refers to its crinkly leaves that really whisper like papery bamboo when touched and in stronger wind.

This is the species that is believed to be the toughest of all nandinas as far as both hardiness and soil adaptability. It is a shrub though it forms branchless upright shoots with pinnate up to 3-pinnate compound leaves. They are lance-shaped, coral pink to bronze when they emerge, changing to deep green in summer, and turning bright red in autumn and winter. The whole leaf is usually 40-50 cm long, mature plants in milder climates bear up to 90 cm long leaves. In July it forms conical panicles of tiny white blooms with conspicuous deep yellow anthers. Flowers are followed by bright red fruit in winter that persist for a long time, often until end of spring of the following year. Fruit is non-edible, one source even says they are poisonous for humans.

Beside the coloured leaves in winter, the plant structure is usually the reason why you like it. Heavenly bamboo looks a bit like a small palm as it has trunks and frond-like leaves at the top. That is why it is a favourite centre point of mixed arrangements, surrounded by shorter, mostly evergreen plants with smaller leaves. Obviously, it also looks great when planted like a small specimen among other shrubs or trees that are some 30-50 cm apart not to disturb its architecture.

Nandina likes rich, moist but well-drained soil though it shows great adaptability to almost any soil type apart from sandy and boggy. Once established it requires zero maintenance apart from occasional watering in dry spells and before winter. It if pest and disease free. In harsh winter it may lose some leaves but will always make new ones in the spring. Hardy to about -23°C (USDA zone 6). It is not suitable for areas with constant cold wind and has not been tested in mountainous regions with long-lasting winters.

Last update 05-12-2009
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Nandina domestica
Nandina domestica
GLOSSARY
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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