Nandina domestica Thunb.
Synonym(s): heavenly bamboo, nanten

Sacred bamboo invades forests throughout the Southeast United States. It is a small, erect shrub that grows up to 8 ft. (2.4 m) tall. Leaves are alternate, large, bi- or tri-pinnately compound with small, 1-2 in. (2.5-5.1 cm) long leaflets. Flowering occurs in the spring, when small, white flowers develop in large panicles at the ends of the stems. Flowers have 3-6 reflexed petals. Fruits are green berries that mature to a bright red. The older stems have bark with long, linear furrows. The overlapping leaf sheaths give the main stem the appearance of bamboo, hence the name. Sacred bamboo is shade tolerant, which allows it to invade forest edges and interiors. It is native to eastern Asia and India and was first introduced to North America in the early 1800s. It has been planted widely as an ornamental and often escapes from old plantings.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources