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Heavenly Bamboo

Scientific Name

Nandina domestica

Origin

Native to India, eastern Asia, China and Japan.

Habitat

Prefers average to well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade.   

Growth Nature

A slow growing deciduous shrub.  Grows to a height of 3 to 8 ft. and can spread to  2 to 4 ft.  Can stay "evergreen" in warm climates.  Can tolerate a wide range of soil types.  

Points of Interest

  • Heavenly Bamboo is not a true bamboo.  The name comes from the long straight stems it has as it grows.  Is actually a member of the bearberry family.

  • Was introduced into cultivation in this country in 1804. Used as an ornamental plant in most gardens.

  • Is highly invasive. Has spread throughout the eastern U.S.

  • Aromatic twigs have been used as toothpicks and toothbrushes.

  • Seeds are dispersed by birds and mammals, however leaves and fruit are poisonous to livestock and domestic animals.  Especially toxic to horses, dogs and cats.  Contains cyanogenic glycosides causing cyanide poisoning.

  • The whole plant has been used to prepare an herbal pesticide used to control aphids in China.

  • Symptoms of poisoning include seizures and the creation of a comatose state.