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Toxic parts

The fruit is poisonous[1].All parts of the plant contain toxic substances, including hydrocyanic acid and nandenine[2].

Edible uses


Fruit[3]. No further details are given, but another report says that the fruit is poisonous[1]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[4]. Young leaves - boiled[5]. The water must be changed at least once during the cooking[6].



Material uses

Plants are used for hedging in warm temperate zones[4].
There are no material uses listed for Nandina domestica.

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The roots and stems are antitussive, astringent, febrifuge, stomachic and tonic[1][7]. A decoction is used in the treatment of fever in influenza, acute bronchitis, whooping cough, indigestion, acute gastro-enteritis, tooth abscess, pain in the bones and muscles and traumatic injuries[1]. It is especially useful in the treatment of children's coughs[7]. There is a danger that an overdose can cause respiratory paralysis[7].

A decoction of the leaves is tonic[2]. The fruit is febrifuge and tonic[2]. Another report says that it is toxic, so great care should be employed if using it[1]. The root is antirheumatic[2].

Young shoots contain high concentrations of laetrile - up to 20% on a zero moisture basis[2].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions



Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse[8]. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible in a greenhouse. Germination is often poor[4]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

Cuttings of half-ripe wood 10 - 15cm long, July/August in a frame[9]. Pot up in the autumn and overwinter in a cold frame. Plant out in late spring. High percentage[9] but very slow[10].

Cuttings of mature wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, November in a frame[9]. Plant out the following autumn[9][4]. High percentage[9] but very slow[10].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Nandina domestica. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Requires a deep rich moist soil in a sheltered sunny position[10][4]. Prefers a cool but sunny position[4].

A very ornamental plant, it only successful outdoors in Britain in favoured localities[11]. Grows well in Cornwall[12]. Tender when young[10], the shoot tips of mature plants can be damaged by hard frosts[4]. A number of named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[13]. Untidy old stems on established plants can be pruned to the base in spring[14]. Cultivated for its fruit in China and Japan[3] ( does this refer to medicinal usage?). It does not fruit freely in Britain[10].

Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[4].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Nandina domestica. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Nandina domestica.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Nandina domestica
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    2. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    3. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    4. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.1 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    7. ? Kariyone. T. Atlas of Medicinal Plants. ()
    8. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    9. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    10. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    11. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    12. ? Thurston. Trees and Shrubs in Cornwall. ()
    13. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    14. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    15. ? Ohwi. G. Flora of Japan. (English translation) Smithsonian Institution (1965-00-00)

    Facts about "Nandina domestica"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyBerberidaceae +
    Belongs to genusNandina +
    Functions asHedge +
    Has binomial nameNandina domestica +
    Has common nameSacred Bamboo +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFruit + and Leaves +
    Has edible useUnknown use +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone7 +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has mature height2.5 +
    Has mature width2 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntirheumatic +, Antitussive +, Astringent +, Febrifuge +, Stomachic + and Tonic +
    Has search namenandina domestica + and sacred bamboo +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameNandina domestica +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is deciduous or evergreenEvergreen +
    Is herbaceous or woodyWoody +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica +, Nandina domestica + and Nandina domestica +