Such a beautiful display – these Nandinas along our driveway – at this time of year.
We have two different types of the Nandina domestica – the Sacred bamboo (the tall one) and the dwarf one.
Nandina domestica commonly known as nandina, heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan.
Despite the common name, it is not a bamboo but an erect evergreen shrub up to 2 m tall by 1.5 m wide, with numerous, usually unbranched stems growing from ground level. The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; old leaves turn red or purple again before falling. The flowers are white, borne in early summer in conical clusters held well above the foliage. The fruit is a bright red berry 5–10 mm diameter, ripening in late autumn and often persisting through the winter.
All parts of the plant are poisonous. The plant is “generally considered non-toxic to humans,” but the berries are considered toxic to cats and grazing animals. The berries also contain alkaloids such as nantenine, which is used in scientific research. Birds are generally not affected by these toxins and will disperse the seeds through their droppings. However, excessive consumption of the berries will kill birds.