Plant DetailShow Menu

Nandina domestica

Phonetic Spelling
nan-DEE-nah doh-MES-tih-kah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Nandina is a commonly cultivated ornamental upright evergreen shrub in the Berberidaceae (barberry) family known for its beautiful bright red berries.  This Asian native is an aggressive grower with its network of rhizomatous stems that have a habit of suckering and reseeds itself readily.  It naturalizes and establishes dense stands in forest habitats or disturbed sites especially in the piedmont and mountainous regions of North Carolina and is considered an invasive species in several states.

It has upright unbranched cane-like growth up to 6 to 8 feet tall, but can become leggy unless pruned. This plant flowers in the late spring and has ornamental fruits. It has reddish new growth and fall foliage that is not dependable on most cultivars and vary in one plant seasonally and annually. This plant has year-round visual interest.

Nandina can grow in full sun to shade and a range of soil types, but it prefers moist, well-drained, fertile soil. It is adaptable to extremes of soil and exposure and it relatively pest and disease free.  It is drought tolerant, shade tolerant, slightly salt-tolerant, and particularly resistant to damage by deer. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Terminal cluster of bright red berries
  • Medium evergreen shrub with cane-like growth
  • Decompound leaves, 1-2' long
  • Reddish new growth and fall foliage

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Since this plant spreads very easily and it can become invasive in the landscape, please consider planting native plants or one of the dwarf cultivars that do not produce fruit. The leaves and berries are toxic to livestock and other domestic animals. Berries contain cyanide and when consumed in quantity can be toxic to birds. 

See this plant in the following landscapes:
Asian Garden- Japanese Four-Season Garden Back of House Planting Storage Cottage
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Alba', 'Atropurpurea Nana', 'Fire Power', 'Flirt', 'Gulf Stream', 'Harbor Belle', 'Harbor Dwarf', 'Lemon Lime', 'Moon Bay', 'Nana', 'Nana Purpurea', 'Plum Passion', 'San Gabriel', 'Sunray', 'Umpqua Chief', 'Wood's Dwarf'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#invasive#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#showy leaves#fall interest#high maintenance#showy fruits#small mammals#fast growing#cpp#aggressive#deer resistant#naturalizes#disturbed areas#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Alba', 'Atropurpurea Nana', 'Fire Power', 'Flirt', 'Gulf Stream', 'Harbor Belle', 'Harbor Dwarf', 'Lemon Lime', 'Moon Bay', 'Nana', 'Nana Purpurea', 'Plum Passion', 'San Gabriel', 'Sunray', 'Umpqua Chief', 'Wood's Dwarf'
Tags:
#evergreen#showy flowers#invasive#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#weedy#salt tolerant#showy leaves#fall interest#high maintenance#showy fruits#small mammals#fast growing#cpp#aggressive#deer resistant#naturalizes#disturbed areas#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#heavy shade tolerant#shrub borders#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Nandina
    Species:
    domestica
    Family:
    Berberidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China and Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds and small mammals eat the fruits.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces bright red berries in terminal panicles in the fall that persist through the winter. They are less than an inch in size.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    4-5 petals/rays
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white, 3-6 petaled, less than an inch in size, white, and they grow on an erect terminal of panicles between 10-12" long. Flowers have yellow conspicuous anthers. This plant blooms in late spring.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, evergreen, and 1-2' long. Leaflets are 1-3" long, elliptic-laceolate, entire, bluish-green, glabrous, changing to red-green in winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Attracts:
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Heavy Shade
    Salt
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN. No cases reported in humans, but berries are possibly toxic to cats and some grazing animals as well as certain songbirds. Weakness, incoordination, seizures, coma, respiratory failure, death (rare in pets).
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cyanogenic glycosides
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits