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Nandina domestica

Description: Grows to a small/medium evergreen shrub with upright habit and all year round interest. In spring, the new leaves emerge pinky-red, the flowers in summer are large panicles of creamy-white and they are followed by green berries turning bright sealing-wax red which look wonderful in autumn together with the leaves which flush crimson.

Not actually a bamboo but is infact a barberry related to Berberis.

Climate/Position: Some sun will produce the best colouring, but sheltered partial shade is also acceptable.

Height/Spread: 1.5 x 1.5 metres but can grow to more than 2 metres if unpruned.

Soil Requirements: Prefers a rich soil which is acid to neutral. Moist conditions in summer ensure lush growth but soil should not remain wet in winter. Tolerant of drought once established.

Pruning: A low maintenance shrub. Can be pruned to control plant height if needed. The tallest / oldest canes should be cut to the ground or to different heights in early spring this will provide more foliage toward the ground and promote a denser plant.

Special Requirements: Berries are mildly toxic but birds love them.

Found throughout the Far East where its heavenly properties supposedly give it the power to dispel bad dreams. In Japan, Nandina is planted near doorways so that when you wake from a nightmare, you can step outside and tell the shrub your dream so that no harm will follow.

It was first introduced to America in the early 1800s. The canes are used for toothpicks