Family:
Berberidaceae
Toxins:
cyanogenic glycosides
Flower Color:
  • flower color
Type:
shrub
Found:
ornamental, woodlands

Time of Greatest Risk

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Geographical Distribution

Sacred bamboo distribution - United States

Sacred Bamboo

Nandina domestica

Heavenly Bamboo, Nandina
6/ 10
Sacred bamboo (Nandina domestica) is an evergreen or semi-evergreen woody shrub that can grow up to 8 feet in height. N. domestica leaves start out reddish bronze, eventually turning green and then reddish in the fall. The inner bark of N. domestica is yellow, a characteristic of many plants in the Berberidaceae family. Flowers bloom May through July, where it produces hundreds of pink and cream, fragrant flowers. Dense clusters of fleshy, spherical berries form between September and April of the following year. They are initially light green and ripen to red in the winter.

Toxic components
Sacred bamboo toxic components horse
Sacred bamboo contains cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids (nantenine). The berries contain the highest concentration of cyanogenic glycosides which convert to toxic hydrogen cyanide (HCN) when damaged or chewed.

Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Incoordination
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Death

Control

MECHANICAL CONTROL: Hand pull smaller infestations careful to remove all fragments of root to prevent reinfestation. Frequent mowing will be effective but the plant may continue to spread via underground runners. There is limited research in this area.

CHEMICAL CONTROL: Spot treatments of glyphosate or triclopyr (1% solution with 0.25% surfactant) are the best alternatives to date.

References