Nandina domestica, or heavenly bamboo, is the only member of this genus. It is grown for its evergreen or semi-evergreen foliage that is richly colored when young and in the autumn, and for its profuse, bright red fruit display. The stems and leaves resemble bamboo. Flowers are tiny and white but they are borne in long clusters in late spring or mid-summer. The bright sprays of berries last until the following spring. Nandina is invasive in some areas, especially in the South. Use in a shrub border. Cultivars can be used as groundcover as well.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsYoung foliage is showy. Good autumn color. Abundant red fruit. Can be invasive.
CareSite in a sheltered location in moist but well-drained soil. Nandina prefers full sun.
PropagationAs soon as seeds are ripe, sow in containers in a cold frame. Plants can also be propagated from semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
ProblemsLeaf spot, root rot, and Verticillium wilt can affect plants, while viruses that alter the appearance of foliage are common.