Nandina domestica

Berries of Nandina domestica

Called sacred bamboo, this evergreen shrub (ht 1.8m) from China and Japan has dainty, vaguely bamboo-shaped evergreen foliage, which may take on tints of red and bronze in autumn and winter if grown in a sunny spot, giving foliage colour in the smallest of gardens. Grown in a small group with a male and a female plant, it will produce long-lasting red berries in autumn which will last through much of winter. There are also hermaphrodite cultivars which will produce berries on a single plant, such as 'Richmond' The sacred bamboo is easily grown, can tolerate a prefer a degree of shade in a woodland-like setting, and is in no way related to the invasive true bamboos! In part-shaded areas, its oriental look makes it a good companion for red-flowering Camellia japonica shrubs, but it also mixes well with other shade-loving plants, such as red-flowered bromeliad species and cultivars, Salvia splendens and cane Begonia. The old fruiting stems can be removed and straggly canes pruned at their base in spring, when it can be mulched and fertilised. Note that this plant has a tendency to self-seed, so caution should be exercised if it is grown near a bushland area.