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Common Name:

Heavenly Bamboo or Nandina

Scientific Name:

Nandina domestica

Family Name:



Nandina domestica is a reliable old-fashioned medium size evergreen shrub that has gained renewed popularity with the introduction / promotion of new dwarf cultivars. The coarse seldom-branched suckering stems are hidden by the highly dissected bipinnate or tripinnately compound leaves. The foliage color ranges from a bright green to dark green, red, or yellow depending upon the developmental stage of the foliage and / or cultivar. The white spring flowers and red fall / winter berries are assets on the species types.

Plant Habit or Use:

Shrub, small shrub, medium shrub


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Creamy white panicles in spring

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Panicles of bright red berries


variable, dwarf cultivars 1 ft tall to 8 ft, 3 ft to 5 ft is common


indefinite, initially narrower than tall, slowly spreading by suckering stems

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Low Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Despite its generally wide adaptability, the species tends to be short-lived on some sites. With adequate moisture Nandina can tolerate full sun, but in general it benefits from some afternoon shade in most of Texas. Nandina can survive in surprisingly dense shade, however, the foliage is open and generally unthrifty. Chlorosis can develop on very high pH soils.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.