Family: Berberidaceae (Barberry Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Shrub
Evergreen erect shrub in the barberry family (Berberidaceae) that grows to a height of 6-10 feet and width of 3 to 5 feet (Other cultivars including dwarf nandina are shorter in height). The plant has multiple bushy cane-like stems that resemble bamboo. The alternate leaves are bi-pinnately compound dividing into many 1 to 2-inch, pointed, oval leaflets. Young foliage is often pinkish, and then turns to soft light green. The foliage can be tinged red in winter. Early summer terminal clusters of tiny white-to-pink flowers. Each flower is 1?4 to 1?2 inch across, appearing in loose, erect, 6 to 12 inch clusters at the end of the branches. If plants are grouped, shiny red spherical berries, 1/3 inch in diameter, follow the flowers in fall and winter. Single plants seldom fruit heavily.
Ecological Threat: Nandina has naturalized and invaded habitats. It colonizes by spreading underground root sprouts and by animal-dispersed seeds. It can persist as a seedling for several years before maturing. It can displace native species and disrupt plant communities. Berries are can be toxic to cats and some grazing animals.
Biology & Spread: It spreads both vegetatively through underground sprouts from roots and by seeds.
History: Nandina has been in cultivation for centuries. Introduced from eastern Asia and India in the early 1800s. Widely planted as an ornamental, now escaped and spreading from around old homes.
U.S. Habitat: It grows in full sun to shade and prefers reasonably rich soil but does not thrive in sand. It occurs under forest canopies and near forest edges.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: C. China to Japan (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)), NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX, VA
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Manual- It is difficult to remove manually because even the smallest piece of root will re-sprout.
Chemical- It can be effectively controlled using any of several readily available general use herbicides such as glyphosate or triclopyr. For tall plants, cut stems then apply herbicide. Collect and destroy fruit. Repeat applications may be necessary to reduce densities. Follow label and state requirements. Managers should evaluate the specific circumstances of each infestation, seek professional advice and guidance if necessary, and use the herbicide in a manner that is consistent with the product label and other state requirements
Natural pests- Plants are bothered by scale and mites. Leaf spot diseases often cause the lower leaves to drop from the plant in the humid regions. The disease appears to be most severe on plants grown in partial shade where the foliage can remain wet.
Miller, James H. Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests- A Field Guide for Identification and Control, FS SRS=62. P. 27 & 79,
http://plants.usda.gov, www.forestryimages.org, http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/NANDOMA.PDF
USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection's Invasive Plants Website - http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive%5Fplants/weeds
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