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Sacred Bamboo (Nandina domestica)


“Pet poisonous” - Toxic to Dogs Nandina domestica commonly known as nandina, heavenly bamboo or sacred bamboo, is a species of flowering plant in the family Berberidaceae, native to eastern Asia from the Himalayas to Japan. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Nandina. Despite the common name, it is not a bamboo but an erect evergreen shrub up to 2 m (7 ft) tall by 1.5 m (5 ft) wide, with numerous, usually unbranched stems growing from ground level. The glossy leaves are sometimes deciduous in colder areas, 50-100 cm (20-39 in) long, bi- to tri-pinnately compound, with the individual leaflets 4-11 cm (2-4 in) long and 1.5-3 cm broad. The young leaves in spring are brightly coloured pink to red before turning green; old leaves turn red or purple again before falling. The flowers are white, borne in early summer in conical clusters held well above the foliage. The fruit is a bright red berry 5-10 mm diameter, ripening in late autumn and often persisting through the winter. All parts of the plant are poisonous, containing compounds that decompose to produce hydrogen cyanide, and could potentially be fatal if ingested. The plant is placed in Toxicity Category 4[clarification needed], the category "generally considered non-toxic to humans",[6] but the berries are considered toxic to cats and grazing animals. Excessive consumption of the berries will kill birds such as cedar waxwings, because they are subject to cyanide toxicosis, resulting in death to multiple individuals at one time. The berries also contain alkaloids such as nantenine, which is used in scientific research as an antidote to MDMA (ecstasy).

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum: Magnoliophyta

        • Class: Magnoliopsida

          • Order: Ranunculales

            • Family: Berberidaceae

              • Genus: Nandina